Previous   Next

What should be the punishment for a minor in possession alcohol charge?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on August 18, 2005

Browse the archives

Photo of Jill Rohde

“They should have to clean the bathrooms and clean off the sidewalks in front of area bars.”

Photo of Ashvin Coca

“If I was the cop, I would just call their parents and let them handle it.”

Photo of Laura Marconette

“Between 18 and 21, I think it’s ridiculous. Under 18-year-olds should get community service for the first offense.”

Photo of Greg Ash

“I would say for a first-time offense, a $100 fine would probably be enough.”

Related story


tell_it_like_it_is 12 years, 3 months ago

even_money glad to see you! We need someone to liven up the the early AM! As to the drinking I think over 18 should be legal anyway. I suppose for those under 18 a fine of some kind but have to frankly admit I would have payed my fair share of fines when I was younger. Back then in my small town the cop would have just poured your beer out and called your folks because chances were good he knew your folks on a first name basis anyway.

hottruckinmama 12 years, 3 months ago

if we can put the hard sell on them to join the military at 18 and fight bush's misbegotten war then we need to change the legal drinking age to 18. can't have it both ways. either they are children or there not. if they are not capable of deciding to drink a beer they are not capable of signing a paper that may well put that them in situations that could end or forever alter their lives.

MyName 12 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, but wouldn't cleaning out the bathroom at the Replay be considered "cruel and unusual punishment?"

Hong_Kong_Phooey 12 years, 3 months ago

Ashvin obviously doesn't have a problem with violating the privacy rights of 18 year olds...

I think the current punishments are appropriate.

GreenEyedBlues 12 years, 3 months ago

The punishment for an MIP should be to have to go on a date with Ashvin and meet HIS parents!

neopolss 12 years, 3 months ago

Why have a drinking age? When I was in Germany, we had a beer vending machine at the high school. The bar was only a block away. We drank beer pretty much for every meal. The difference is the mentality. When you have beer as part of culture from such a young age, you learn the responsibilities of it, and do not develop this crazed frenzy like here in the states. Kids drink underage because they enjoy the risks, they want to be cool. Haven't we learned yet that making everything illegal only adds more to our plate of problems? It obviously doen't work, so perhaps it is time to start thinking in a new direction. Legal and responsible. Legalising it takes away the stigma, and the attraction.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 3 months ago

As far as war... we offer our 18 year olds up for slaughter because they are most likely not married and do not have children. (A grieving parent will not cost the country as much as a grieving widow and her children.)We know full well they are not able to make good decisions 100% of the time. I don't believe we should reduce the drinking age, but I also have a problem with sending them off to war.

I agree with the punishments that are in place now for the under age drinkers (although I was one of them). I do, however, see them as harsh. Had I known about these, it might have deterred me. How many youngsters do you really think know about these punishments? My guess is very few.

Most days, I'm also in favor of raising the legal driving age. Most accidents are caused by very young drivers. Yeah, it would stink to be the glorified taxi driver for a couple more years, but I think it would be worth it. On second thought, lets make the 16 year old drive, but make them have to have an adult in the car with them for 2 years. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!

I am NOT bagging on our youth. Just being an overprotective Momma.

ladysilk 12 years, 3 months ago

I like the bathroom idea. Can they come clean the bathroom at my house? I think the punishments in place now are ok. I agree with neopolss though. I grew up in Latin America and there are no drinking laws there. It was not such a thrill for teens to drink so we didn't that much. We would go to nightclubs all the time but the purpose was to have a good time not to get drunk. Offtotheright made the comment about watching car crashes and talking to victims families. That program already exists at DCCCA as part of the drunk driving school. I am not sure it works. The times that I helped with the class in the past most of the people sat there and rolled their eyes as the speaker was talking. There was not much respect shown for the victim. My husband grew up in the 18 drinking age days. He was in a huge drunk driving wreck when he was 18 and left in a coma for 6 months, the effects still haunt him. I am not sure what the answer is here. I think teens are going to drink no matter what. My oppinion is that parents should teach kids responsibility. This type of education needs to start at home. Parents need to teach kids responisbility when driving and talk to their kids about the effects of drinking and driving.

trueninetiesgirl 12 years, 3 months ago

my son got drunk one night and he thought he would try to play it off as sick. i knew better, i made him get up and go to school the next morning with a bad hang over. i told the school not to let him rest and to keep pushing him all da, and if any trouble to call me, he tryed to come home, but i laugh at him and said if you are so bad that you need to drink then deal with what you get from it... he never did it again.

nlf78 12 years, 3 months ago

I personally think all kids will experiement but that community service and fines should be the punishment. If it was my child, I'd sure punish them BEYOND what the police/city do.

kshaff03 12 years, 3 months ago

Make the legal drinking age 19. As far as those under that age, community service (And I mean intensive community service too) is a better alternative to fines. Most 18 year olds I know don't know the value of a dollar anyway. No punishment will ever be a deterrent, so you might as well make the punishement something that the community can benefit from. Fines aren't really that fair, considering a $350 fine (that's what it was for me after diversion) is devistating punishment for a poor family (you really don't think the kid is paying for it do you?), and a slap on the wrist for kids driving a HUMMER to school.

neopolss: Right on

Redneckgal 12 years, 3 months ago

Communtiy service would be an wonderful idea for those caught under 18. For those over 18 personally I think it should be legal anyway.

Dallasbugman 12 years, 3 months ago

Under age drinking has alway been a Big problem ! but as long as our Law makers have the problem of drinking boos , ect.ect.ect. we are going to have this problem in our country . and doing that is a BIGGER Problem , because most of them dont follow the laws they make for the rest of us. beleave it or not ,I know and YOU know our young people are aloud to drink beer or boos @ home with Dad esp. because ole Dad has the problem . if ya want to deture our kids from drinking and driving OR What ever .... IT ALL Starts at home People ! just think about that for a moment. as far as punisment .... LONG-community service is good for the offense ..... the fine Should be paid for by the people that sold it to them in the First place RE: .... Bar... Store... or who ever sold it to the person , Including the Cos involved in the sale of beer or boos to those people ....RE: Budwiser or what ever brand of alcohol it is . if ya want to stop the kids from being stupid with the products, then Pass ALL the fines off on those people and see how fast it all stops folks. you will stop it faster that way than you will trying to change our law makers minds , because They are going to drink there alcohol, Ill tell you That ! by the way , you Will Stop a lot of young driver alcohol related accidents And Deaths by doing that . it all starts at home folks , what ever Mom And Dad do ..... the kids will follow . you dont have to be a smart person to figuer it out . people ten to take the Long road around a problem every time . I can tell you this ....when I was a bad boy when I was young and didnt know a lot about life , My Mother or Dad would KNOCK me or my brothers to hell Out if "WE" got out of line a 1/2 of an inch......I have two wonderful Grown Kids one of each in my family that Dont Drink Or Smoke and Never did , because I wouldnt alowe it! .......... DallasBugMan

Dallasbugman 12 years, 3 months ago

Folks .... I left the most Inportain part of this out .... but here you have it ...... Untill You Get Right With Your "Maker" , Re: "GOD" And I Mean "RIGHT" drinking and other stupid things in your life will Never be right ! ....... DallasBugMan

chrys anthalbee 12 years, 3 months ago

even_money: how do you know lance fahy? i love this song.

Janet Lowther 12 years, 3 months ago

This is one of the cases where the nanny state backfires: Prohibiting alcohol to minors interferes with the development of a culture of responsible drinking thus exacerbating the problem of alcoholism.

rhd99 12 years, 3 months ago

Punishment for a minor in possession of alcohol charge: 18 & over, come on! They need to do hard time in jail. Now Under 18, community service & a possible fine. Those that are 18 & over are eligible to register with the Selective Service (I believe it expires in 7 years) & vote, therefore, they are old enough to know right from wrong. If they can't understand those concepts, then the parents have not done their jobs.

chrys anthalbee 12 years, 3 months ago

easy_money: send me a link or drop me a line at chrysanthalbee at gmail dot com when that video is complete. i'm a long time friend of lance.

were you at a vermont street bbq show in the last couple of months? i was there with my one year old.

Liberty 12 years, 3 months ago

"I would say for a first-time offense, a $100 fine would probably be enough."

  • Greg Ash, attorney, Lawrence

If the students refuse to use self control in public and choose to drink where they can get caught, they risk the consequences of dealing with law enforcement revenue officers making use of the statutes to fund the system. Knowing this, it would be in the students best interest to avoid funding the judge's retirement fund.

If they are smart they will not drink to excess using self control, and only have their drink at home, not in public.

If kids would spend time reading the bible instead of getting intoxicated and getting involved in riotous/party living, they would be a much a better respected group of people exercising self control, not needing the law enforcement to help them live in a respectable manner. Their grades would probably improve too.

enochville 12 years, 3 months ago

Social scientists have conducted studies looking at the differences between kids who smoke, drink, and/or do drugs from those who don't. The main difference was that kids who used substances felt like they didn't have a reason not to. The kids who didn't use said that those things didn't fit into their lifestyle or goals. Some enjoyed playing sports and knew that they performed better as an athlete if they didn't use. Some had goals to go to college and have great jobs, so they didn't want to risk getting a police record. Some were religious and felt that God didn't want them to use those substances that were not good for their bodies. They all surrounded themselves with friends who were like minded. They still hung out playing games, darts, pool, swimming, fishing, going to movies, etc., but they left out the substances.

Kids need a sense of belonging and a purpose for their lives. Once they have a purpose (parents and mentors are essential in helping them gain one) they will seek out friends that are good influences on them. This is not just a theory; I've seen it in practice.

chrys anthalbee 12 years, 3 months ago

even_money: i have some pics of lance from that show if you need any.

oh yeah... ban drinking!

whatdoyouthink 12 years, 3 months ago

Legal age should be 18. If you can die for your country you might as well enjoy a beer before doing it.

Staci Dark Simpson 12 years, 3 months ago

Well I am a fellow underage drinker and I still had good grades, had a good job and was basicly a good kid. I played lots of sports. But luckily never got caught by the fuzz. My mom was much meaner, she took away my keys and made me miss THE party of the year. But I still drank underage I was just more careful. She knew when I walked home I had been consuming.

As for punishment, why bother with kids 18-20, they can get married, go to war, and vote so why not have a drink also? We should focus more on drunk driving for all ages. Sometimes I like drunk people in public, it can be humorous when not in a family setting. Drunk people dancing rules!!!

craigers 12 years, 3 months ago

I agree about the 18 year old drinking age. As for the punishment of an MIP... A suspended licensce for 3 months, and they have to take the T to their 40 hours of community service. I think the suspension, T, and community service out to sober them up. Oh yeah, and truenintiesgirl, I love that story and I think you are great for doing that.

lilchick 12 years, 3 months ago

I remember the first time I came home hungover when I was about 17, I drank about 2/3's of a bottle of Jim Beam, was stupid puking drunk still the next morning at 11 am when I went back to my parents house after staying with friends. My mom, who is a nurse, didn't buy the whole "we ate some bad pizza" tale we fed her and made me take a suppository to stop wretching. That in itself was more than enough to convince me to never get stupid drunk again.

Ceallach 12 years, 3 months ago

Between birth and 18 years of age men and women can accummulate a vast amount of knowledge. However, knowledge alone is not sufficient to develop a propensity to evaluate an issue and make wise decisions. Wisdom is not synomous with knowledge. Schools, parents, mentors can impart knowledge to those willing to learn; wisdom however is only acquired through time and experience.

Within the last week or so we have been discussing (and cussing :) the latest onslaught of 18 - 21 year olds driving around town as they return or arrive on campus. Their lack of driving experience is reflected in the increased number of traffic accidents. They had passed the required test, demonstrating their knowledge of driving rules, yet, when out and about they demonstrate immature judgment and accidents or near accidents result.

Regarding 18 year olds in the military. We have an all volunteer military. The 18, 19 and 20 year olds in our military are there by decision. Would we recommend not allowing them to make that decision? I believe our younger troops are capable of doing their jobs very well, under the supervision of older, more experienced officers. That scenario would change dramatically were they trying to be acquiring the wisdom needed on the battle field while they were at various levels of intoxication or hangovers. That said I believe many, many people look the other way regarding underage drinking in the military. Is that doing them a favor? I have no idea.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 12 years, 3 months ago

Hottruckinmama you said: "if they are not capable of deciding to drink a beer they are not capable of signing a paper that may well put that them in situations that could end or forever alter their lives." -So does that mean that we should either lower the drinking age to 16 - since allowing a 16 year old behind the wheel of a 2,000 lb. vehicle puts them in situations that "could end or forever alter their lives"- or raise the driving age to 18?

Spacystaci: since kids are old enough to get married at 18, and you feel that qualifies them for drinking, should we also allow 14 or 15 year olds to drink as well? They can legally get married in Kansas so by your reasoning, shouldn't they be allowed to drink as well?

Ceallach 12 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, regarding today's topic. I think the current penalities are adequate, although they are seldom administered across the board. The injustice in my opinion, is not that less wealthy kids have to pay -- they broke the law, they should pay -- the injustice is that wealthier families find ways to get their children excluded from the punishments. Those kids grow up with a very skewed view of law and order, crime and punishment, and personal responsibilities.

hottruckinmama 12 years, 3 months ago

hkp..actually i think raising the age to drive unrestricted to 18 might not be a bad idea. its no fun carting kids around all the time. but also its no fun worrying if they made it to school okay and sending them to the store for you and then have a siren go by a few minutes later and wonder if its your kid. life is one big worry when you have teenagers.

Todd 12 years, 3 months ago

Underaged drinking... 1) if you are in the service you are allowed to drink on base/post. So if someone is able to sign up for military service they will be able to drink. You can always buy your drinks on base/post and drive off-base/post to drink. 2) you have to be 21 yrs old in most states to buy a handgun (except ND I think)

The best way to combat underage drinking is to expose kids to drinking in the home. Yep, the age old trick of taking away the "cool" or "rebel" factor of it.

Staci Dark Simpson 12 years, 3 months ago

Hong Kong Phooey- There is a HUGE diff between a 14 yr old and an 18 yr old. If you disagree with that think how much you would like your 14 yr old daughter dating an 18 yr old boy. I have seen people in their 40s and 50s abuse alcohol more than we did when we were 18-20. BTW, in the state of Kansas how can you get married if you are 14 or 15 w/o parental consent? Are you sure you weren't thinking of Arkansas? Any parent who lets their kid get married at 14 or 15 probably has other issues. When I was in jr high 15 yrs ago there were already kids smoking pot and drinking but I don't remember any getting married.
I rest my case, 18 should be good enough, but definitely not any younger than that.

trueninetiesgirl 12 years, 3 months ago

i have to agree if are kids can go to war at 18 then let them have a drink, then maybe it wont be such a big deal.

Curtis Lange 12 years, 3 months ago

The_original-bob: I agree to a point that America's youth shouldnt be compared to Europe's youth. Europe's youth are far more mature when it comes to the responsibility of alcohol. This is why I like how they do it over there with the drinking age being lower than the driving age. You learn the effects of alcohol BEFORE you get behind the wheel of a car. For those that dont know, the drinking age is 16 while the driving age is 18.

It sucked coming back over here for college after I had done high school in Germany. We'd go down to McDonald's on our lunch breaks and get Happy Meals with a beer.

Ceallach 12 years, 3 months ago

You may be right, Todd. As a child I was exposed to drinking in our home on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. That did the job for me, I don't touch the stuff (the genetic thing bothers me). People don't have to drink to have a good time. The upside of having fun without alcohol is that you have clearer memories of the events, fewer questions about what you may have done and fewer hangovers. I added the last because I am convinced that a big part of some hangovers is smoky environments. I have attended parties or pool tournaments, etc., had nothing alcoholic to drink and had a headache the following morning. While I do not have the headache from other events located in a facility that has more quality air control.

Manson 12 years, 3 months ago

If you're able to be prosecuted as an adult you deserve all rights and privilages that adults enjoy. There should be no grey area. Either you are or aren't across the board. It is that SIMPLE without question and absolute!

captain_poindexter 12 years, 3 months ago

sheehan, er, hottruckinmama, you crack me up

oh, there is it. people like her can find any way to join any issue with "Bush's illegal war"

er, why is it illegal again?

Confrontation 12 years, 3 months ago

It scares me to think of raising the unrestricted driving age to 18. That means that all the out-of-town college students (or even those in Lawrence) would arrive with limited experience behind the wheel. I know there are "requirements" as to how many hours of supervised driving a student is supposed to have in order to get an unrestricted license. Really, how many parents do you think actually supervised any significant amount of hours? It is easy to sign off of those requirements without doing the work.

captain_poindexter 12 years, 3 months ago

I got a cold the other day, actually it was really just a sneezing attack.

I would have gotten a lot better faster if it wasn't for bush's illegal war.

captain_poindexter 12 years, 3 months ago

KU would have beaten texas in football last year if it wasn't for bush's illegal war in iraq and afghanistan.

hopefully we'll wus out and leave iraq and afghanistan before the season so we can go to a bowl game.

hey, before the war ku went to a bowl, since the war they haven't.

they are definitely related.


captain_poindexter 12 years, 3 months ago

dangit, because if bush's illegal war, my computer just locked up

hottruckinmama 12 years, 3 months ago

um don't believe i said illegal. learn how to read. but yes i do happen to think we got lied into it.

captain_poindexter 12 years, 3 months ago

who lied again? bush? blair? the UN? Clinton? congress?

If it wasn't for bush's illegal war I would be able to read.

captain_poindexter 12 years, 3 months ago

if it wasn't for bush's illegal war I would take a chill pill. instead all I have is global warming.

Manson 12 years, 3 months ago

Hottruck here's a tip you are lied to on a dialy basis from evry politician you listen to. Don't act supprised.

Secondly provide evidence of Bush's lie. If you have it you are now a rich man/woman/whatever.

hottruckinmama 12 years, 3 months ago

yes i think bush lied. i doubt anyone could convince me otherwise. but ya'll need to take a chill pill or were all gonna ended up getting booted off here. it happened the other day to someone else. e mail me if you feel like you need to argue more

staff04 12 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

italianprincess 12 years, 3 months ago


Thats a horrible thing to say about people with disabilities.

Shame on you.

snake_eyes 12 years, 3 months ago

the penalty for an MIP should definately be more severe for those that are under 18 and should involve more than just a "financial burden" to the violator. I like the idea of cleaning restrooms, but I think the violator's energy could be better spent helping the community somehow.

as for a penaltly for those 18-20, there shouldn't be one. drinking age should be 18

off the subject a bit, nobody with douglas county plates should be able to criticize drivers from other states or counties. i think someone forgot to teach some of you how to use merge lanes, round-a-bouts, 4 way stops, etc. my first year up at KU oh so many years ago, i was astonished at how poorly Lawrence residents drove.

midwest_wingnut 12 years, 3 months ago

I'm fine with REAL roundabouts; it's those ones that are so small they may as well not even be there that bug me, because hardly anybody uses them.

snake_eyes 12 years, 3 months ago

the comment on Special Olympics was inappropriate, but I'm sure that it is somehow the fault of Bush.

He seems to be your excuse for everything that's wrong in your lives.

Didn't Bush start slavery Captain?

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

Where are the deletions today? This is getting nastier than D-Lete day was Tuesday!!

Consumer1, never done community service. Not that I a good person, I just never got caught!! ;)

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for clearing that up TOB. For some reason, I thought just the opposite.

Ban underage blondes who are drinking.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 3 months ago

staff04, bad call. That was completely crass!

happyone 12 years, 3 months ago

Community Service is the best course of action for those under 18. 18 and over should be legal anyway, IMHO.

I like the idea of having the drinking age be 16 and driving 18 like was stated above. It makes sense, let them learn the effects before they can drive.

As for myself I was allowed to drink after age 13 AT HOME or at family weddings and holidays. I never felt the need to get wasted when at parties during my teen years the "Riskyness" wasn't there. To this day I never drink more than one or two on the rare occasions that I do drink.

Heads up to anyone arguing with Hottruckinmama once she gets something in her head she won't back down even when she is WRONG which is most of the time. She is responsible for us no longer hearing from Mr_Joe. All would be better off to IGNORE her!!

Jay Bird 12 years, 3 months ago

Cut off their hands and dip the stubs in salt. Then rinse them off with their booze. If they do it again........OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!

hottruckinmama 12 years, 3 months ago

i tended bar at a 3.2 joint right out of high school back in 84 it was still legal for 18 year olds to sell and drink 3.2 beer. that pretty well did me with drinking a whole bunch. not a tea totaler mind you but i have no real desire to get stupid drunk like some i saw at the bar.

happy one "she won't back down' well if thats the worst thing someone's ever said about me then i suppose i'm okay. you notice of course that i just kept things going today right? sure as heck i didn't narc out mr. joe but i think all is well because if i'm not mistaken he turned into kansas.

linux_chick 12 years, 3 months ago

I would personally rather my kids (when I have kids) experimenting while under my roof.

The drinking age in Europe is 16ish, and they haven't exploded yet.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 12 years, 3 months ago

I agree with whoever said that DG county drivers have no feet to stand on when it comes to criticizing drivers. The people here can't even figure out a simple roundabout. They drive 30 mph regardless of what the actual speed limit is, then criticize those that actually READ THE SIGNS!

All these people that are spoutin' off the "if an 18 year old can fight for their country then they deserve to be able to drink" need to realize the town they are in. The Vaaaaaassst majority of people that are 18 in this town would probably rather spit on the military than join it, so please, don't use that as your reasoning. You should probably align yourselves more with Manson and his prosecution argument.

linux_chick 12 years, 3 months ago

Who wants to spit on the military here? I haven't seen this.

This town may be liberal and cast a dissenting eye on Bush's executive decisions, but I haven't met a single person who didn't express the upmost respect and gratitude for our troops risking their lives.

Us liberals in Lawrence have family and friends abroad and are anxiously waiting, hoping for their safety.

Ceallach 12 years, 3 months ago

Chip 'n' Dale, ohhh, for a moment I thought you meant the two of you were Chippendales (I guess that's how rumors get started :) Oh well, I've always liked Chip 'n' Dale. Perhaps the Chip 'n' Dale days will help balance the Heckle 'n' Jeckle days :):)

sunflower_sue 12 years, 3 months ago

Chip has the small black nose. Dale has the large red nose...perhaps he's been drinking too much!

sunflower_sue 12 years, 3 months ago

OMB, My fave is when one of the gophers gets "canned" and the other has to open all the cans...and, of course, he's in the last one. Why don't they make great cartoons like they used to? I've always been a huge Warner Bros. fan. I guess the world got too PC and we can no longer "blow up coyotes". Or shall I say, Whyle E. Caiotay's?

GreenEyedBlues 12 years, 3 months ago

Liberty do you honestly think kids are gonna start reading the bible as a safe alternative to drinking?

"Hey GUYS! Let's go read the New Testament after the homecoming game!"

Doesn't the Bible say something against Biblethumpers? It should. They tend to find a biblical rebuttal for ANYTHING nowadays.

Harry_Manback 12 years, 3 months ago

I will be 21 in 2 weeks. If I go out and drink tonight it's against the law, but somehow the law seems to think that in 14 days I will be this completely different person who is now mature enough to drink alcohol.

I see more of a problem with the use of fake IDs. I have never met anyone under the age of 18 with a fake ID (although I'm sure there are some, but not many out here). Basically by having the drinking age be so high, we're just encouraging people to commit identity theft/fraud. I never had a fake ID, and I can't recall those countless nights when friends who were 2 years younger than myself got to go out to the bars while I couldn't.

I would be willing to bet that on any given weekend at The Hawk or Brothers, about 50-75% of the people there are underage. Oh well...not by problem in a few days...

papa_smurf 12 years, 3 months ago

In Kansas its perfectly legal for minors to consume 3.2 beer at ANY age with a parents consent. Kansas is the only state in the union that allows this. Is Kansas right or are the other 49 states wrong about 6 year old children being LEGALLY able to drink 3.2 beer with dad in the living room?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.