The first weekend of the King County Sheriff’s Office “Party Patrol” emphasis was a success, with 143 people arrested or cited on a variety of charges, officials said.
The majority of charges, 124, were for minor in possession of alcohol. Other charges included furnishing premises for minors to consume alcohol, possession of marijuana, driving while intoxicated and three arrests on felony drug charges.
One party was held in the 1200 block of 207th Place Northeast in Sammamish, by an Eastlake High School senior whose mother was away. When a parent was called to pick up her drunken 18-year-old son, she was nearly arrested for obstructing when she tried to prevent the host of the party from admitting deputies. She pointedly reminded officers that her “husband is an attorney.” Her son was cited for minor in possession and released into her custody, Sgt. John Urquhart wrote in a press release.
At the same party, deputies found a juvenile male passed out with his eyes open, unresponsive and sweating profusely. Fire department aid was called. He was treated at the scene and eventually released to his mother, after telling deputies he drank nearly a fifth of hard liquor, according to Urquhart.
In addition to parties, deputies and officers checked various businesses to see if they were selling alcohol to minors. A total of eight criminal citations were issued to clerks in unincorporated King County, Enumclaw, Renton, Auburn, and Maple Valley, and Covington.
Party Patrol is a multi-jurisdictional effort by local police agencies, coordinated by the Sheriff’s Office.
Participating this weekend in addition to the Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Liquor Control, were police officers from Shoreline, Sammamish, Woodinville, Kenmore Bellevue, Carnation, Duvall, Kirkland, Issaquah, Lake Forest Park, Redmond, Snoqualmie, Auburn, Federal Way, Renton, Maple Valley and Covington, and the Washington State Patrol.
Typically persons under the age of 18 found drinking will be arrested, then released only to their parents, or booked into the Youth Center. Those between 18 and 21, as well as parents or other adults providing the premise for the party will get a misdemeanor citation and could be booked into jail.
Party Patrol will continue through the month of June.
Citizens anywhere in King County are asked to call 911 if they suspect an underage drinking party in their neighborhood.
The goal of the program is to break up juvenile drinking parties before they leave the parties intoxicated and cause accidents.
It is focused on this time of year because graduation parties, end of school parties, and beginning of summer parties are at their peak, officials said.
The Party Patrol has been operating since 1998.
Those arrested for minor in possession of alcohol and under the age of 18 lose their driver’s license.
People providing the location for a party where minors are drinking will also be arrested, including parents, officials pointed out.
The Sheriff’s Office Web site is www.kingcounty.gov/safety/sheriff/.