MAY 26, 1997

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Local News

Police begin patrolling for teenage drinking

teenage drinking King County Police will soon be performing teenage drinking emphasis patrols as the end of school nears. Beginning May 30, 12 to 16 officers will be patrolling Friday and Saturday nights, looking for underage drinking and parties.
   According to a letter from King County Sheriff Dave Reichert, sent to local high schools and parents, the plan of action is to "arrest and take into custody every under-age minor that we have probable cause to believe is consuming or possessing alcohol or other illegal substances. These minors will be transported to the [high school gyms] via the police jail bus then fingerprinted and photographed."
   Captain Dave Maehren of King County Precinct 2 in Kenmore said that the police would be on emphasis patrol through June and actively looking for juvenile drinking. "We are also asking the public if they know of any parties to call the police so we can act in a timely manner," Maehren said.
   The goal is to deter students who might be considering going to parties and drinking and to prevent teenage drunk driving. "Every year, we lose a couple graduating seniors to alcohol-related events," Maehren said.
   Graduating seniors at Inglemoor High School recently witnessed a reenactment of a drunk driving accident in which one of their classmates was killed and six others injured. Woodinville High School seniors will be attending a similar event June 3.
   "Minors convicted of possessing alcohol face penalties of up to 90 days incarceration, a $1,000 fine, and loss of [drivers'] license until the age of 18," according to Reichert's letter. "Those convicted of drinking and driving face additional penalties of up to one year in jail, a $5,000 fine, and suspension of driving privileges."