Local minors face alcohol charges after field party bust

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Pike County residents were among the nearly 70 minors charged with underage consumption or possession of alcohol Aug. 4 at a field party in Brantley.

A total of 44 juveniles and 25 underage adults were arrested at the party, according to Lt. David Hall of the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).

“I don’t know the exact numbers, but it was a very large party prior to our arrival,” Hall said. Hall was not sure how many of the minors arrested were from Pike County. Many more attendees also left before officers arrived on the scene, he said. This is not the first time the bureau has busted a field party and Hall said there have been even larger parties investigated in the past.

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Hall said young people from several surrounding counties came to the party, which took place off Mitchell Road in Brantley.

“First and foremost, this won’t be tolerated,” Hall said. “If we’re contacted or we’re called, everybody drinking under the age of 21 will go to jail. We have zero tolerance for it. Everyone will be prosecuted.”

The minors under the age of 18 were handled by the officers and their parents, Hall said, while the minors between the ages 18 to 20 were arrested and booked into the Crenshaw County jail on charges of minor consumption or possession of alcohol. The charge is a misdemeanor and carries penalties of up to $500 in fines and up to three months in jail.

Hall said the arrests can have major consequences for the individuals arrested. “From now on, if they go to apply for a job and the question is asked if they were ever arrested, the answer is ‘yes’ and that will go with them for the rest of their life,” Hall said.

Hall also warned about the consequences of underage consumption of alcohol.

“What they don’t realize is there’s so much more traffic on the road today; if they wreck under the influence of alcohol and someone is killed, either in the vehicle with them or in another vehicle, they are going to be charged with up to manslaughter or something like that,” he said. “They don’t realize the consequences.”

And for minors, driving under the influence only requires a blood alcohol level of 0.02 percent instead of the 0.08 percent for everyone else, which means even a can of beer can result in a DUI if an officer pulls the minor over.

Correction: A previous version of this article did not include minor possession of alcohol as one of the charges levied against the 69 minors arrested.