Teen Drinking Parties Targeted 

Teen Drinking Parties Targeted 
Posted by FoM on February 08, 2000 at 08:15:02 PT
By Jeff Jones, Journal Staff Writer 
Source: ABQjournal
  Parents who know, or should know, that their kids are hosting beer parties at their homes would face fines and jail time -- and could lose their homes -- under a pair of laws being proposed by an Albuquerque city councilor.   The fines would start at $100 for a first offense and climb to $500 for a third offense, and people who violate the law two or more times could be jailed for up to five days, according to one of the ordinances introduced Monday by Councilor Brad Winter. 
  The second ordinance would add underage drinking to the city's current nuisance-abatement law, meaning parents who don't do anything to stop continued illegal partying at their homes could find themselves fighting in state District Court to keep their property.   Winter said Monday he doesn't envision any Albuquerque parents actually losing their homes, but the threat should be a deterrent. He said the proposed laws also could cause youths to think twice before they throw a beer party at Mom and Dad's house.   Winter said the idea for the laws came after an incident in late December when high-schooler Demetrius Sims, 16, was stabbed to death outside a party where the beer was allegedly flowing.   The suspect in that case was a student at La Cueva High School, and Winter is an assistant principal there. Officers had been called to handle several other parties at the home where the Dec. 28 party took place, according to neighbors and police reports.   "When youth gather and there's alcohol, we have problems -- violent problems," Winter said Monday.   The point of the proposed laws is "not the punishment. It's the education," Winter added. "If parents are aware, some of those parties aren't going to happen. (With) a lot of these, I don't think it'll get past the first citation."   Albuquerque Police Department Chief Jerry Galvin said Monday officers spend a lot of time breaking up youth parties on weekends.   Officers arrest adults who provide teens with alcohol and charge them with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. They also can arrest the teens themselves for underage drinking. But Galvin said police usually just break up the bashes and make sure everyone gets home safely.   Galvin said he supports a law that would allow police to cite parents, and he said the APD would issue them when appropriate.   "Parents have got to be aware of what their homes are being used for by their children," he said.   Under Winter's proposed "premise liability ordinance," parents who knew, or should have known, that three or more underage people were drinking alcohol on their property would be breaking the law if they "failed to use reasonable control and ordinary care" to stop it.   Neither the ordinance nor Winter clearly specified what "should have known" means.   The city's nuisance-abatement law allows the city to tell the owners of suspected drug houses and problem motels to clean up their acts, said City Attorney Bob White. If they don't, their properties can be declared public nuisances, and the city can file forfeiture paperwork in court.   "We've used it very effectively in several neighborhoods in the city," White said. "Oftentimes, we don't even forfeit the property. The very threat of forfeiture gets the property owner to get with the program. It works."   Winter said the laws could come up for a vote within two weeks.   City Council President Michael Brasher said Monday afternoon he hadn't read Winter's proposed laws and was reluctant to comment on them. But he said, "I have some constituents who are very concerned about unsupervised parties."   Councilor Adele Hundley said she also hadn't read the ordinances, but she supports their intent.   "I certainly think it's a good idea," she said. "Somebody has to be in charge in these homes." Published: February 8, 2000Copyright  1997 - 2000 Albuquerque JournalParent Will Get a Ticket for Allowing Son's Party
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Comment #1 posted by CongressmanSuet on February 08, 2000 at 10:37:15 PT
"Somebody has to be in charge in these homes"
      That last line says it all. And if we decide the parents arent doing a good enough job, we, the Gov. need to take the reins.....
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