17 busted for underage drinking at Tallapoosa Co. lake house party

Published: Sep. 30, 2015 at 2:58 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 8, 2015 at 2:58 AM CDT
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TALLAPOOSA CO., AL (WSFA) - What started out as a fun night ended with police lights for a group of teenagers in Tallapoosa County.

A lake house party on Moonbranch Drive, south of Dadeville, was shut down when the sheriff's office was alerted. Sheriff Jimmy Abbett says his agency received a call about a party with potential underage drinking at 11:30 p.m. on Friday, September 25, 2015.

"Upon arriving, our deputies determined that there was a party and that there was alcohol being consumed," the sheriff said.

Ten minors (two teens age 15, six age 16 and two age 17) and seven others under the age of 21 (four age 18 and three age 19) were busted after supervisors with the sheriff's office responded to the scene and determined that they had been drinking alcohol.

Those cited for "minor in consumption of alcohol" were from several different towns across Tallapoosa County, including Alexander City, Tallassee and Jacksons Gap.  The sheriff says there were no adults of legal drinking age at the lake home gathering.

"The homeowner had absolutely no idea that this was going on," he added.

Those age 18 and 19 were arrested. Their cases will head to district court. The minors were turned over to a parent or guardian and their cases will be handled in juvenile court.

It's not clear if the group at the party had been at a football game earlier in the night but local officials with the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.) organization say with football season in full swing, it's the time of year when get-togethers are common. M.A.D.D., along with members of law enforcement, urge parents to talk about the dangers and consequences of underage drinking with their kids.

"Parents need to discuss it with their kids and make sure they know it's against the law. Make sure they know the consequences and dangers. They need to restrict alcohol within in their household and monitor their kids. Know what they're doing. Know who they're running around with. Monitor their social media," said Sgt. Steve Jarrett with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. "But the most important thing would be to sit down and talk with your kids and make sure they understand the law and what can happen.

"We encourage the parents to be involved and know where their children are and make sure that they're not consuming alcohol," Sheriff Abbett added. "If we had not been there and they had left there, they could become a victim. They could be a fatality involved in driving under the influence so we're always concerned about these incidents."

Related Alabama laws:

Open House Party: A person over the age of 21 having control over a residence should not allow a party to continue where alcohol or a illegal controlled substance is being consumed or possessed by a person under the age of  21.

Fine/Confinement: $3000/6 months

Furnishing Alcohol To a Minor: No person over the age of 21 should furnish alcohol to a person under the age of 21.

Fine/Confinement: $1000/6 months

Minor Possession of Alcohol: Unlawful for a Minor under Age 21 to Attempt to Purchase/Purchase/Consume/Possess or to Transport Alcohol.

Fine/Confinement/DL Suspension: $500/3 months/6 months

Possession of Fake ID: Unlawful for a Minor under Age 21 to knowingly use or attempt to use a "fake ID" to attempt to purchase or purchase alcohol.

Fine/Confinement/DL Suspension: $500/3 months/6 months

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