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Mother, teens face charges for after-prom party

With prom season in full swing, teenagers across North Carolina are looking to celebrate. Students and parents alike may want to be careful at the after party, though. Police responding to noise complaints recently have discovered some underage drinking at post-prom parties. They are citing parents who are home as well as any minors who are drinking.

Parents and other adults may believe that allowing minors to drink in a home is the safest way to deal with what they feel is the inevitability of underage drinking. With adults present and no one leaving to drive, some may believe that they are keeping the kids out of danger. However, underage drinking is underage drinking no matter where it happens. Adults who are aware of the illegal activity can be sent to jail along with any minor who is drinking.

Recently, police showed up at a woman's door responding to a noise complaint from a neighbor. Officers observed young people drinking in the driveway of the house and around the house inside. Police ended up arresting 25 students at the after-prom party. The mother of one of the students owned the house and was present when police showed up. She was arrested as well.

According to her statement, she was taking away alcohol from the kids when she saw it and posted a sign that prohibited drinking in certain areas of the house. Despite her efforts, however, police still took her to jail and charged her with providing alcohol to minors and contributing to the deprivation of a minor. They say she did not do enough to stop the drinking or end the party.

While consumption of alcohol under the age of 21 is against the law, some parents and students may believe that they are not hurting anyone in situations like this one. This may be especially true during the prom season when parties and drinking are common. However, it is very important to remember that students who drink and adults who either encourage or simply allow the behavior may be committing a crime. Students who are convicted of a crime may have difficulty applying for colleges or getting certain jobs, so it important to challenge these types of charges.

Source: The Columbia County News-Times, "Mother arrested, teens cited for drinking at after-prom party," Valerie Rowell, April 16, 2012

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