Newcomerstown Chief of Police Gary Holland wants residents to know the importance of underage drinking as well as the consequences associated with it.
His advice comes after an underage party was busted in the 200 block of Spaulding Avenue in Newcomerstown on Sunday (Jan. 29) about 3 a.m.
An anonymous caller called police dispatch to report a possible underage partygoing on and wanted the police department to be aware. Upon officers arrival, they found juveniles both under 18 and over 18 but under 21 with alcohol.
In this instance, an adult (over the age of 21) was present in the home but asleep in the basement and had no idea that the party was taking place two floors above the bedroom.
At this point, I dont see charges going forward (for the adult), said Chief Holland.
However, the fate of the 10 underage individuals found at the party is a different matter.
Chief Holland said the juveniles (those under 18) will be charged through juvenile court and will receive a notice, typically, through the mail; they are not normally arrested.
The individuals will be ordered to attend a diversion program, if its their first offense, which is a type of alcohol treatment/counseling program. But, if the individual doesnt comply, they may face a misdemeanor charge and jail time.
In terms of those over 18 but not 21 found drinking at the party, they will be charged through Southern District Court in Uhrichsville, Chief Holland said.
It just depends on what the judge decides to do, Chief Holland said in terms of their penalties.
They could face a first degree misdemeanor, six months of jail time and a $1,000 fine.
Weve been tasked to do it, Chief Holland said in terms of the police department stopping underage parties in the village. Well do it. Its a shame but we have to do it.
He said this is where responsible adults need to step-up and take control.
What are we doing with our youth, Chief Holland said if adults dont stop drinking and underage parties.
This is the second report of an underage party taking place in the village. The first came about a month ago on South College Street where approximately 20 underage individuals were charged.
He said the police department has had to call for paramedics for some of the underage individuals that received alcohol poisoning at these parties.
Parents arent parenting and thats a shame, Chief Holland said.