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New proposal cracks down on teen drinking

May 6, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
An Orange County community wants to go after parents in an effort to crack down on underage drinking and out-of-control teen parties. "Underage drinking is a problem faces many communities. We've all heard horror stories of a friend or neighbors going out of town and troops of kids show up to have party at the home unbeknownst to the parents," explains Mission Viejo Mayor Trish Kelley.

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Under the mayor of Mission Viejo's proposal parents or the owners of the home where underage drinking takes place could be held responsible.

The mayor says under the proposal parents could face fines starting at $500. They're also looking at the possibility of fining teenagers responsible.

"That's lot of money," says student Jade Baer.

Some teenagers say the new law, if passed, would put pressure on parents to watch their kids more closely.

"I think the parents are going to crack down especially the ones known for throwing the parties all the time," said student Annie Rosen.

Other teens say many parents aren't home during parties so they shouldn't be fined.

"I think teenagers should be held responsible for that because it's our actions," said student Alex Gonzalez.

Authorities say more than 1,300 loud parties led to police being called last year in Mission Viejo.

The law, if approved, would give police one more tool besides the standard "disturbing the peace" law.

Officials say several other cities in California have the new law and it's made a difference.

"Cutting down on number of parties and also cutting down on the number of drivers out on the road," explains Mayor Kelley.

Many who support the idea say it just enforces what parents should be doing anyway.

"As a parent you need to be responsible for your kids," said parent Nelly Carrie.

The city attorney is now drafting the law council could make a decision on it later this month.

 

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