Author Topic: New Law in My Town  (Read 199 times)

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Offline stuffin

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New Law in My Town
« on: September 12, 2012, 08:58:40 PM »
Does this sound legal to anyone?

Underage drinkers - thinking about throwing a party in your home while the folks are away? Think again.

The Township Council recently adopted an ordinance that gives police more enforcement power when it comes to underage drinking in private residences.

"The adoption of this ordinance now enables township police to enter onto private property and issue citations for underage drinking, when a guardian and/or parent is not present," Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. said.

The ordinance targets parties on private private property where underage persons are present and drinking alcohol without the permission or knowledge of parents, relatives or guardians, the mayor said.

It also provides immunity for anyone who calls 911 for medical assistance for an underage drinker and the underage drinker who receives assistance, Amato said.

The ordinance was prompted by a Midway Beach family who came to the June 12 Township Council meeting to complain about rowdy underage drinkers who partied more than 12 hours one day over Memorial Day weekend.

"We listened to them brag about how they intended to enjoy a "Jersey Shore" weekend," said William Wynne, whose wife's family has owned a bungalow in Midway Beach since 1995. "They intended to follow in the footsteps of their heroes, Snooki, the Situation..."

The youths also bragged about obtaining liquor and fake I.D.s, even though they were underage, Wynne told the council.

Township Attorney Lauren Staiger said at the June 12 council meeting she wasn't sure if the township had an ordinance regulating underage drinking in private residences. But there is one the books now, with the council's adoption of the ordinance at the Sept. 6 meeting.

Violators will be fined $250 for the first offense and $350 for any subsequent offenses. The municipal court judge could also "suspend or postpone" driving priviliges for six months, the ordinance states.
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Offline Nick

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Re: New Law in My Town
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2012, 09:05:29 PM »
I guess your castle is only good now if you have a moat.  How are they going to know if the parents are gone and have no idea about the gathering?  Lots of parents are ok with parties.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: New Law in My Town
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2012, 04:11:42 AM »
Hard to say.  If "underage drinking" is a crime, then it doesn't suddenly stop being a crime just because its in someone's house - that would be a "drunk in public" law.

As for the parents knowing.....I guess that defence would cause problems the other way, as presumably then the parents could be charged with being accessory to the underage drinking offence.

Police (and Customs) have a lot of powers already to enter into houses if they have cause, this just adds another one.

I don't think its a good law, I don't think its a useful law, I don't think its a sensible law.....but I can't see anything it says is actually illegal, sorry!
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: New Law in My Town
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2012, 04:48:38 AM »
To add to Anfauglir,

Underage drinking of alcohol seems to be a rite of passage; a minor ritual in which the paternal authorities agree to be shocked by what they did when they were that age.

I think it is probably common ground that we would not wish 8 year-olds to have a party with full vodka bottles available but, for most teenagers, to have the experience of being violently sick and then hung-over, provides a lesson in life that lasts a lifetime (with one or two lapses) and prevents alcohol abuse[1]

Two more points arise:
(i) If it is illegal for an adult to ply a minor with alcohol or allow a minor to consume alcohol, then the presence of a responsible adult should prevent minors consuming alcohol; thus the catch 22 -> [no adult, no alcohol] or  [adult, no alcohol.]

(ii) I suspect that these parties have caused problems in the neighbourhood and this law is a way to give powers to prevent that trouble. As usual, the arseholes who abuse the privilege of quiet enjoyment, create circumstances that justify a law.
 1. Yes, there will be those who go on to become alcoholics, but I doubt that this trait is age-related
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