These are conscientious parents who were trying to provide a fun and alcohol free party for their daughter. Here's where they went wrong:
The dad started out at the front door and checked kids in as they entered the party. Once they were in they were not allowed to leave and return. After a few hours, he figured everyone was there and left the door and wasn't paying attention to who was coming in. He trusted all the kids that were there already and didn't know that crashers always come late. Later in the evening, some kids who were uninvited came in (the parents were unaware) that's where the problems began.
When you have a big party:
- You need to have an adult by the door THE ENTIRE NIGHT. Their job is to:
- Make sure that each person is actually invited to the party.
- Check that each person doesn't smell like alcohol.
- Check any purses or big coats so that alcohol or drugs can't be carried in.
- Make sure that no one leaves and re-enters the party.
- You need at least one and preferably 2 parents walking around through the party the entire night checking to make you know exactly what is going on.
- Lock doors to rooms where you don't want kids to go and make it clear where the party is and where people aren't supposed to go. Make sure to check the off limit areas when you do the walk throughs.
- Let me be very clear and say that I fully support the police and so appreciate the very dangerous and difficult job that they do keeping us all safe and keeping our kids safe BUT.........
- The law says that a police officer that spots something in plain view does not need a search warrant to seize the object or begin investigating. In order for a plain view search to be legal, the officer must be in a place he has the right to be in and the object (or situation) he seizes (or tickets) must be plainly visible in this location.
While the police and parents were talking, a kid staggered a little, in plain sight of where the officers were, and it was over. The police sealed off all the doors and kept everyone in the house. They then spent the next 3 hours breathalizing every single kid (and the parents) at the party including making the 8 year old sister, who was in bed sick, come down and be tested! They'd blocked the street with their cars and wouldn't allow anyone whose cars were blocked to leave, even if they had no alcohol on their breath. The 4 kids that had alcohol in their system were ticketed and the parents of the party were ticketed for allowing intoxicated minors on their property- even though they were unaware of it and had not provided any alcohol.
Parents are liable for any underage drinking or drug use takes place on your property even if you're unaware of it!!!! . Even if you are not at home, you can be held liable for the acts of your children and their guests if:
Tomorrow I'll talk about what to do if your teen wants to go to a party at someone else's house!