To help keep teens and others safe during the season, law enforcement from throughout Putnam County are teaming up to ramp up patrols.
Bruce Kelly, Coalition coordinator of Putnam Communities That Care Coalition said that although parties are fun and a rite a passage. Tragedy can occur.
“However, when alcohol and/or drugs are in the mix, quite the opposite can happen especially in Putnam where many young people will be getting in their cars to travel to and from parties around the county,” he said.
To ensure that young people have a safe and enjoyable graduation, law enforcement in Putnam County will be conducting party patrols throughout the graduation season. They will also be on the lookout for intoxicated/impaired drivers as well as for underage drinking parties at area residences.
“High School graduation is a time for celebration, a special occasion not to be marred by tragedy. Extra police officers will be assigned to DWI enforcement during graduation weekend to promote traffic safety” says Carmel Police Chief Michael Cazzari.
Every town in Putnam County has passed legislation entitled Social Host Liability Law. These local laws make it a misdemeanor to host parties where three or more minors are present and alcoholic beverages are being consumed by any minor.
In other words, it is illegal for anyone to host a party at their home and allow underage drinking to occur. The crime is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.
Putnam County Sheriff Robert L. Langley Jr. said: “Taking measures to ensure all our graduates have a safe and memorable occasion will not only be one of our responsibilities but the responsibility of our community.
Kent Police Lieutenant Kevin Owens said parents should set the example and enforce the rules during the season.
"It's never a good time to drink and drive, but especially during this time of year when so many youngsters are celebrating their graduation and moving on to the next phase of their lives," Owens said.
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