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June 05, 2007

Comments

I sure remember with fondness the parents of friends who let us drink in the safety of a home. I would bet that it reduced the chances of any of our friends getting hurt or killed due to it.

But I would extend that "safety" to other drugs beyond alcohol. Would you think it was just as dumb for the police to interfere if the kids were smoking pot, or doing coke?

I hope this will not turn into a "same as Scooter" discussion. Oops, shouldn't have brought that up.

Even if they charge him with giving alcohol to minors (has to be proven), his clear attempts to prevent negative consequences should be considered as mitigating. An "obstruction of justice" charge looks quite ridiculous to me.
Btw, is it the duty of the police/justice to go for minor (noun) drinking or is an official complaint by a third party necessary?*

*provided the police doesn't run into it by chance, pretty unlikely in non-public circumstances.

Mixed feelings. I agree in general with your reaction, but at the same time, I think the idiocy applies to Trudeau also for not checking the coolers, etc.

Plus the charge is not serving alcohol but obstruction.

The story mentions receiving reports of underage drinking at the party, but does not state how that report was received. Were the kids getting rowdy?

Also there were other parents there. What is their culpability?

Finally, apparently, from the article, there has been a major push to stop parents from serving or allowing alcohol at htese parties. What option did the police have?

Let's look at it this way. Police receive a report of illegal activity. Are you suggesting they ignore it. Secondly, they investigate and discover illegal activity. Are they then just supposed to leave? They want to make sure they have found everyone and request assistance. Assistance is denied not once but twice. Are they supposed to ignore that?

3 years would be idiotic, but the idiocy is not limited to the police in this case.

The dominant attitude towards public policy regarding children is idiotic. The net effect is to prevent the child on the verge of adulthood from being exposed to adult responsibilities and then simply tossing them out into the world unprepared. No wonder kids binge drink in college - they have no positive models of responsible alcohol consumption before they're eligible to drink.

The same applies to abstinence only sex education. You don't drown-proof a kid by keeping them away from water, you drown-proof a kid by teaching him or her to swim.

Feh. I think 18 year olds should be allowed to drink, and that we'd do a lot better devoting whatever resources are freed up by not having to treat drinking by 18 year olds as a crime on preventing drunk driving.

john, my the question was not, whether the police shloud ignore complaints but whether the case in question would require the police to act even absent a complaint (or a chance encounter of police and drinking minors).
At least over here there are unlegal acts that are only prosecuted on complaint* while other ones require the police to go for on their own initiative.

*in some cases the police is even forbidden to act, if there is no formal complaint.

But in this case there was a compaint. Don't know who made it however.
And btw, when I was 18, beer drinking was allowed in Wisconsin. Just not the hard stuff.

Put me with the folks who think that there's no reason these 18-year old adults shouldn't be allowed to drink, and that even if it's legally prohibited it would be naive to think that most of them aren't going to at a celebration like this, no matter how many admonitions they're given or classes they take.

They're gonna drink. I'd rather they have a venue to do it safely. They should be giving this guy a damn medal for community service.

Libby - 30 months and $250K fine.

I think the idiocy applies to Trudeau also for not checking the coolers, etc.

I'm sure Trudeau knew perfectly well what was in the coolers.

Trudeau's real crime here was being a bad quarterback. I'm sure the Indy police would never arrest Peyton Manning (or even Jim Harbaugh) under similar circumstances. Chris Chandler and Don Majkowski better watch their step, however.

Togolosh is correct. Hilzoy is correct.

Who knew that Trudeau found another career after being Prime Minister? Not me.

And btw, when I was 18, beer drinking was allowed in Wisconsin.

I think I've mentioned previously that I legally served beer to a 10-year old here in Wisconsin. Parental permission, natch, but that's all that's required.

jrudkis: I sure remember with fondness the parents of friends who let us drink in the safety of a home. I would bet that it reduced the chances of any of our friends getting hurt or killed due to it.

There were always kids in my high school who bragged that their parents did this. From what I could tell, they were also the kids who were most likely to binge drink or generally behave irresponsibly. I'm not the least bit convinced that this is an effective way of teaching kids to develop healthy attitudes toward alcohol. I am pretty sure it is an effective way of teaching kids to develop a casual relationship with the law. Rule #1 of parenting is to model the behaviors you want your kids to adopt, and what is being modeled for these kids is that you shouldn't let a little thing like illegality get in the way of a good time.

It might be another story if we were talking about patently unjust laws, or if the lawbreaking parent was engaging in civil disobedience in an effort to enact a change in the law. I'm open to the argument that the drinking age should be lowered, or even abolished, but that's a pretty flimsy pretext for secretly throwing keggers for your kids' friends.

The story mentions receiving reports of underage drinking at the party, but does not state how that report was received. Were the kids getting rowdy?

I presume a neighbor must have called, but there's no one's been charge (that I know of) with a noise violation.

Also there were other parents there. What is their culpability?

Probably none, since the only other parent mentioned here merely advised that the Court couldn't enter the home without a warrant -- given his own recent legal troubles (well-reported in the local press), it's not surprising he'd give this advice. The US still follows the old Anglo-Saxon rule, in which, absent active complicity, it is generally not a crime not to report a crime.

Finally, apparently, from the article, there has been a major push to stop parents from serving or allowing alcohol at htese parties. What option did the police have?

I question the major push as well, but you do make a reasonable point that the police may have felt that they were required to act. But act in this way? Why not stake out the home and see if anyone tries to drive home, then stop those folks & test them for drunk driving? There were a lot of ways to respond to this situation.

von. like I said, I agree with the general thrust.

My point is that they may have viewed themselves as having limited options. This is one area of the law that has a lot of fzzy lines (not the law but the principles behind it). But at the same time you are arguing that ignoring violations of the law is fine, and police should be able to decide to ignore violations if in their minds its no big deal.

That allows for a lot of leeway into areas that it would probably be best not to go.

Remember the violation was consumption by minors, and just checking a driver would not necessarily be sufficient.

One of the worst aspects of having endless numbers of commonly unenforced, and unenforceable laws, is that it allows the state, and its employees, to arbitrarily enforce them, which is unjust.

If a law allows for a lot of abusive or questionable arbitrary enforcement, it suggests that thought be givin to modifying, changing, or eliminating that law. Call me libertarian in this.

jrudkis: I sure remember with fondness the parents of friends who let us drink in the safety of a home. I would bet that it reduced the chances of any of our friends getting hurt or killed due to it.

I'll relay your fondness to my dad.

Gromit,

We were irresponsible before the parents let us in. Having a nice place to hang out kept us off the road.

Von,

I don't think a stakeout is a reasonable use of police time when a knock on the door would end the problem and let them get on to other issues.

The police are in a hard position: if they knew about it and there was a later accident, they would look and feel responsible, and possibly liable.

I think the blame should go on the nosy neighbor.

Hair,
Yeah, I was thinking of him, but I didn't want to call you out. Oh, and your aunt, too.

I have to admit that I can't see myself letting my kids do what my father let me do. I was damned glad he let me do it at the time, and I can't say, even looking back on it now, that I would have become a better person otherwise. But, somehow, I just don't see myself allowing what he did. Maybe it's not something intrinsic to what was going on, but a matter of the times. Plus my house is nicer.

Yeah, my kids are out of luck too (except they will still have plenty to steal from me, I guess). I guess they better hope they have friends with more liberated parents for the party house.

While the argument that 18 year olds should be allowed to drink legally is a good one (and one I agree with), it is still illegal for them to drink.

Also, while the majority of graduating seniors are 18, you can't assume that all of them are. I have a child that will be 17 when she graduates, and won't actually turn 18 until she has been at college several months.

I'm still stuck at the comma.

"File under 'General Idiocy'" makes sense.

So does "General Idiocy, File Under."

Those both make perfect sense because they're saying "file this under the category of 'general idiocy.'"

But I can't make sense of "File Under, General Idiocy." What's the comma doing there? What does this mean?

Am I missing something?

John Miller must be a bit older than I am, since Wisconsin let 18-year-olds drink what they wanted when I hit that age. My high school class party was at a classmate's whose parents owned a bar. My high school was a religious boarding school.

Despite my nearly-fond memory of that party (going to church with a hangover isn't fun), I think there are good reasons not to sponsor drinking parties for high school kids. Modelling appropriate use of alcohol doesn't really work in such a party atmosphere. Children need to see sensible drinking in moderation from their parents and other role models. Big drunken parties aren't an improvement concerning alcohol just because some parents are around.

I would have no problem allowing anyone who is sixteen or older to order an alcoholic drink as long as they aren't driving. A 0.02% limit for all drivers with less than 5 years' driving experience should work and seems likely to be every bit as successful as the current 21 law at limiting crashes by youthful drunks.

(No) Free Lunch: I think I am older than at least 90% of the commenters.

I think it's nice that Mr. Miller rarely, if ever, tells us to get off his lawn.

John Miller, sounds like it.

On first blush it seems like a bad idea to have separate bars that only served beer for the 18-20-year-olds, especially when many of them were out in the country. I'm certain I wouldn't have wanted to meet any of the 18-year-olds who were driving back to Milwaukee after a night at Zivko's.

File Under, Useless Comma


Gary, if you were a superhero, you Nemesis would be "Useless CommaMan".

He would type you text messages like:

",I'm coming, to get YoU$"

;)

Punctuation Man!

Though I want to say "Punctuational Man," because it seems more accurate.

But then everyone would stare at me in confusion when I announced my name. Although if they paralyzed with confusion, that would be a pretty neat power.

I'm guessing that Von meant "General Idiocy, File Under," but it came out wrong. That's apt to be an entirely incorrect guess, of course.

Gary, you can camp out on my lawn anytime. Just watch out for my ferocious attack beagle. She will lick you into submission..

Why the second period? Or is that a truncated ellipsis?

I really sometimes fail to see the logic of the American law. You treat eight-year-olds as responsible for criminal infractions but consider that 20-year-olds are too young to drink. In Nordic countries, we think anyone under 15 is incapable of committing any crime at all, but the legal drinking age is 18.

Lurker - the basic logic of American Law is raw gut instinct combined with politically ginned-up hysteria, and moderated only by the constitution.

Of course, at least in theory, the charge against Trudeau has nothing whatever to do with teen drinking--he's being charged with intentionally destroying evidence (the list of party atendees) while the police were getting a warrant . . .

Gary,

"File Under, General Idiocy" clearly means a military regiment led by a very unfortunately-named person will be marching below a short bridge.

But I can't make sense of "File Under, General Idiocy." What's the comma doing there? What does this mean?

I do these things solely to make Gary question what it may mean ....

My intention was to communicate a pause (as if the filing required some thought). Unfortunately, rather than choose the correct "..." I chose the incorrect ",".

I sure remember with fondness the parents of friends who let us drink in the safety of a home. I would bet that it reduced the chances of any of our friends getting hurt or killed due to it.

Yep. That was the pragmatic rational of my friends' parents at the time, and I'd contend it saved a number of us from arrest and/or injury.

But I would extend that "safety" to other drugs beyond alcohol. Would you think it was just as dumb for the police to interfere if the kids were smoking pot, or doing coke?

I don't know about Hilzoy or the rest of the liberals (/grin), but I would extend the 'safety' you mentioned to illegal substances as well. Not coincidently, I'm also in favour of full legalization of marijuana*, cocaine, etc. Drug prohibition has directly contributed to the recent erosion of civil liberties in the US (and Canada), to say nothing of the ongoing criminalization of global society (perceptively skewered by Ben Elton in his satirical novel High Society.)

You'd think they'd have learned from the last experiment with prohibition.

*Back in 2002, a Canadian senate committee recommended the legalization of cannabis in Canada (final report available here). Fat chance of that occurring under the neocon government currently holding our Parliament hostage.

Hmm: I was thinking maybe a colon. David Grossman wrote a wonderful novel called 'See Under: Love'.

My comment was to von, not matttbastard, into whose name I always want to insert extra ts.

The more t's the better. Same goes for G&Ts.

Anyone with relevant expertise have any thoughts on whether they can make an obstruction charge stick if he destroyed the list after the police arrived but before they'd obtained a search warrant and demanded that he give it to them?

Jesus, I hope not. I mean, it's not as if they had a warrant, or ever tried to serve him with one.

I think Gary's nemesis would more likely be Ellipses Man....

Not to be confused with Elliptical Man, mind you.

Or Cryptic Comment Man. ;-)

Like any good superhero, Gary would and should have a rotating cast of bad guys to deal with. All the above are good, the 'who lost China' man would be good for a few issues, but I do think we need a few female types. Undecided as to who should pen the images though.

Just so neither Colon Man, nor Colon Woman, nor any little Colons, show up anywhere in my story.

I've tried to post the above more than a dozen times and ways, but keep getting: "Invalid email address '[email protected] '"

Broken Cookie Man?

just a test ping

"Broken Cookie Man?"

Isn't this where I'm supposed to post a long and obscenity-laced rant about how evil and stoopid the people banning me are, and how my truth cannot be soopressed, and concluding with a bunch of imprecations all in caps, after which I come back and say "oops"?

I blame the neo-cons.

There's no "if '[email protected]'" that I can see from the above.

... at 07:35.

The captcha check seems to be name-dependent, though.

... or kinda random.

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