38 Minors Charged With Possession of Alcohol in Reading

As a result, Reading is implementing a Zero Tolerance Policy when it comes to underage drinking.

On Sept. 2, according to Reading Police, officers reported to a house party were over 40 youths were present without adult supervision. As a result of the party, 38 minors are being charged with possession of alcohol and one youth is being charged with furnishing alcohol to minors, police said.

Reading Police have decided to implement a Zero Tolerance Policy regarding cases similar to this one. Any person under the age of 21 caught in possession of any amount of alcohol will be charged with minor in possession of alcohol, police said. This also includes constructive possession, which means that minors can be charged even if they are not physically holding alcohol.

According to police, anyone who furnishes alcohol to anyone under 21-years-old will also be charged. 

“Furnish shall mean to knowingly or intentionally supply, give, provide to, or allow a person under 21 years of age to possess alcoholic beverages on premises or property owned or controlled by the person charged," police said in a recent press release. "The law clearly applies to minors who host alcohol parties while their parents are away, since they are in control of the property when their friends arrive."

This goal of this new policy is to reduce the amount of substance abuse in town. 

To learn more about preventing substance abuse, visit the Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse Edline page.

JAH September 08, 2012 at 06:49 PM
you are the best
Jed Clampett September 08, 2012 at 07:47 PM
If everyone runs, only the fat kids will get caught !
Neighbor September 08, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Sorry, but am I missing something?? I was a kid once; I like them always tested the boundaries. I also knew right from wrong and for every action, there are consequences. I am sure when the invitations went out to those who attended; they were not enticed under the guise that a "Mega Yahtzee Marathon" was going to take place. Our youths need to know that bad things happen to good people, many times just by association. But with that being said, some were only guilty of bad judgment. If anyone at the party was not under influence or in possession of alcohol, in my opinion is just again guilty of bad judgment. I am sure that many will say that this is impossible to prove, or enforce. That is why we are all innocent until proven guilty, and becomes a burden of the legal system. This problem might need to be addressed, but this is a very poor way of dealing with it, what are the limits to perusing the issue using this avenue. I amazed that where the alcohol was obtained has not be addressed. Adults/Home Owners should be put on notice that certain possessions have inherited Liabilities/Responsibilities. OK since now the legal system has made it known that even though they did not pursue it in the past, but they are going to now. I also believe since that most if not all parents have dealt some form of punishment, the point has been made. Might want to give these alleged offenders some form of amnesty. But going forward let be known that the legal bar has been raised.
Kitty Lynch September 08, 2012 at 10:53 PM
How sad this is to read, there are problems in every town with alcohol and drugs.I wonder how the families who have lost their children either by accidents, murder, and overdozing feel about this policy. I remember everyone screaming for the town,police,and schools to do something. Where were they? When meetings were held on how to handle these situations. Underage drinking has been going on since the beginning of time. Maybe some of these parents need to look within their own homes. School is for learning not babysitting, Police are hired to protect and uphold the law. Parents are to be responsible for their children. They need to think about their drinking and behavior. If you have it available they are going to sneek it cause they think it's a way of life, seeing their parents drinking in many cases everynight. How many parents keep track of the alcohol in their houses? Get serious! We live in a screwed up society pointing fingers at everyone but themselves. Ask the police how many calls they get on under the influence, domestic issues because someone is drunk...hate to say it but it all starts at home. I wonder where were the neighbors? I know if I saw a bunch of kids coming and going I'd call police. . It comes down to zero tolerance It was voted in by the town and school. Maybe it needs some tweaking. Offenders must pay for breaking the law . Underage drinking is breaking the law. Life is a learning lesson. If they have to lose a position on a sports or , so be it.
mpk September 08, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Okay, the bottom line is the RPD dept is enforcing a zero tolerance policy, which is long overdue. How many of us know police officers who have pulled over a car full of teens, and realized alcohol was in water bottles. What good did the RPD do for the well being of the teens by asking them to dump it out and let them go on their way.This is the norm more times than not and don't you think teens are going to push the envelope if the law is not going to be enforced? Well it is about time the law is enforced and the sanctions are given to underage drinkers, in addition to the person who is hosting the party. If the law is going to enforce "constructive possesion" what other social settings does Reading offer for the teens who want to hang out with there friends and make good choices. The discussion of a teen center has been entertained for decades but charging incocent teens who want to socialize outside of their home should not be punished . I am all for sanctions being enforced and for zero tolerance-and hope the RPD start walking the walk and not just talking it, FOR THE WELL BEING OF OUR KIDS WHO ARE DRINKING , AND TO OPEN THE EYES OF THEIR PARENTS.
Rachel a September 09, 2012 at 03:56 AM
If you dont want us to drink, give us something else to do.
pat d September 09, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Rachel a. go home and do home work, clean your room, go to the movies or get a job! you can find many things to do. If you are under age 21 you can NOT drink, it is the law!Parents if you are out and your teen is alone most likely your house will be a party house, if your teen is irresponsible don't go out or get a sitter! All should be punished, guilty by association.( tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you what your doing! )Wake up parents you need to take some responsibility, did you even punished your own child or did give them that 20 minute lecture, " when i was a kid? what will you say when it turns into herion?
DBC September 09, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Re: "In fact, I leave you with this question: what is worse an 'underage drinking party' with 50 drunk kids, or one with 40 drunk kids and 10 sober ones?" Both! The kids, whether they drink or not, are all aware of where they are going and what is planned. If they drink or not, it is still an illegal party! Until they CHOOSE to go to a non-alcoholic party and engage in constructive, moral, safe activities, they will all be in danger of arrest and some will be "accessories to the fact." It's the law. Kids need to be brought up to accept and respect the law and the moral responsibilities that make this world a better place, just as adults should do. However, we make excuses, believe it is OK to play with fire as long as we did not light the match, and by not taking a stand, we pass this irrational thinking on to our children to perpetuate, with their limited understanding and maturity. We have done our children a great disservice by not providing them with the appropriate training necessary to make responsible decisions. That training will protect them and provide a solid foundation to build upon, serving them in good stead for the rest of their lives. It is called integrity of character and sorely lacking in the world.
Gertrude September 09, 2012 at 03:30 PM
I agree with the attorney (DW). This whole guilt by association thing sounds entirely wrong. I would certainly join with you in this effort.
Gabrielle Creamer September 09, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Almost every teen in this town drink is an immature statement, give kids more credit
Karl Weld September 09, 2012 at 10:52 PM
After speaking with an officer at a cub scout pack meeting this past weekend, the kids who blew a 0 were not arrested. The sheer volume of alcohol made arresting all who refused a breath test a necessity. He also said that the Patch has not printed the full release from RPD. He told me that anyone who blows a 0 will NOT be arrested so we can end the freak out about "constructive possession"
Neighbor September 10, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Sounds like a DUI, get pulled pulled over blow a zero, go home. If you refuse, you get to watch them impound your vehicle, and then you get take a ride to really bad hotel. Then hire a lawyer, pay money to get your cat out of hock. Go to court, pay some more money, and maybe get your license back. I guess if there was nothing to hide, you might want to just take the breathe test. I know it is tragic, but it sounds as if some of these youths were acting like adults. So they are going to get a hard lesson in life, and pay the consequences. There are responsibilities in life, and this is what happens to the "Big boys and girls" in the real world.
Shannon September 10, 2012 at 03:16 AM
The ridiculous thing is that these kids are having everything stripped from them. They choose to go to 1 party, they choose not to drink and now face court dates? RIDICULOUS! How are these kids supposed to learn if every little thing they do lands them with the same result? Sometimes the kids do not even know there is going to alcohol at a party. I agree that for those drinking, they should be punished and not lightly, but there should be proof of them drinking. The sad thing is, that the police chose not to take the time to breathalyze them before slapping the punishments. And in court it will result in a battle of word of the kid and word of the cop and which side do you think the judge will take? These kids have it hard enough with the police always after them for everything else under the sun. Give them the luxury of being innocent till proven guilty, which if I am correct, is something this country stands by for everyone, not just adults. Why are minors being treated as second class citizens in that way?
Nikki September 10, 2012 at 03:11 PM
I'm assuming the shooting death this weekend of yet another young Reading man is drug related?
Ashley Troutman September 10, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Nikki- If you are referring to the Lawrence shooting, the man shot was once a Reading resident, but does not live here now, according to police. They do not have any details on the case.
Nikki September 10, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Ashley, yes, I heard that it happened in Lawrence. Thank you for the info.
Marissa September 10, 2012 at 05:07 PM
I believe I should not be attending the football game any longer as last Friday night I sat next to adults (parents) who had mugs with coffee and a shot of their favorite /pick me up. I chose not to participate in what they were doing and I believe that is what I hope my kids might have done. I hope my kids would do the same at a party if alcohol was present. Say no. We all, at some point, end up in situations where we have to make decisions and if a teen is at a party and chooses not to drink I am proud of them and certainly would not want them punished for making the right decision for themselves. They are not responsible for the others at the party, they are responsible for themselves. Just as I am responsible for myself.
Rachel a September 10, 2012 at 06:59 PM
okay i can. i have three jobs, im in school. but when it comes to hanging out on the weekends im not gonna sit at home by myself and clean my room. punishing kids who get caught isnt sending a message. its just upsetting, and makes the cops seem like monsters instead of people actually trying to help. sending them to court wont stop kids from drinking.
Rachel a September 10, 2012 at 07:00 PM
not all kids were offered a breathalyzer
Tom September 11, 2012 at 02:06 PM
I will follow you to the end sur
Richard Jertz September 11, 2012 at 06:16 PM
I agree with Jed Clampett. All you underage drinkers should always have 3 or more big boned kids with you. That way you will always get away when the occifers show up.
Mr Beaver Eater September 12, 2012 at 12:20 AM
John Markham....You are so right! What happened to Community Policing! I guess it yields to Community Pressure!
Breanna September 12, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Now that's definitely a bit extreme. It's not unreasonable to think that high school kids can make it through those four years without drinking. I did it, as did pretty much all of my friends. But I was still aware of what was going on, and there were certainly plenty of horrible things that could have been totally avoided if kids weren't out drinking. Though I don't completely agree with the constructive possession part of this, I'm hoping it can be applied to those kids who have been drinking but no longer have the alcohol on them instead of the sober kids that go to the party where there's drinking, especially if those kids are acting as a friend to make sure others are safe i.e. making sure no one drives drunk. I'm glad that something is being done about the teenage drinking, though this may be a bit strong so fast.
Ashley Troutman September 12, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Comments have been removed from this article due to profanity and inappropriate user names.
Paul Hurteau September 14, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Alcohol,, The TRUE gateway drug,, But hey, we need the tax revenue. I would rather find my kid's smoking marijuana rather than drinking booze. That stu CAN and WILL kill you.
Paul Hurteau September 14, 2012 at 05:58 PM
That stuff CAN and WILL kill you.
C September 14, 2012 at 06:04 PM
First round is on me at Grumpy Doyle's tonight
bob barker September 15, 2012 at 12:56 PM
I guess none of you people ever drank when you were young eh? This stuff has been happening every where, with every sing generation. Including all of you people that comment on this page. Your lying with your self if you never did this in your youth. If really didn't... then to bad for you. Please get a life and worry about things that you should really be worried about!!!
John Tatro September 16, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Caroline November 03, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Reading parents are jsut way too protective p their kids so when they get in to the real world and get into real trouble when mommy and daddy can't save them, they're the ones that end up in jail. It's been proven in Reading before.


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