BEDFORD — Two teens were arrested and another was taken to an area hospital last weekend after police busted an underage drinking party at a Bedford residence.
Several additional minors were also taken into protective custody and released to their parents following the incident, police said.
With prom and graduation season approaching, police and school officials are reminding students and parents that as they celebrate, to be cognizant about the dangers associated with underage drinking, hosting parties with alcohol and driving intoxicated.
According to authorities, an anonymous tip around 11 p.m. Saturday led them to a house party in a neighborhood off New Boston Road where 15 juveniles were present.
Police detected the odor of alcohol and located one teen who was ill from drinking and had to be transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation, according to a release.
“This incident is an example of some of the serious consequences of underage drinking, of which legal liability is only part of the equation,” Chief John Bryfonski of the Bedford Police Department said in a statement. “Underage individuals and adults alike need to be aware of the law, and it’s incumbent upon parents and guardians to understand their responsibility to prevent their kids from drinking under age.”
Two 15-year-old boys from Bedford were arrested at the party. One of them was charged with facilitating an underage drinking party and unlawful possession due to intoxication.
The other was charged with resisting arrest and providing false information; police say he allegedly provided a fake name to officers and was then uncooperative while being taken into custody. The teens were not identified.
Bryfonski is reminding parents and teens about New Hampshire’s social host law that holds adults and those under the age of 21 accountable for facilitating an underage party.
The misdemeanor charge carries a fine of up to $2,000 and potential jail time. In addition, he said teens should know that underage drinking can result in a license suspension, loss of vehicle, fines and possible loss of college scholarships or grant money.
“From my perspective, while there is both national and state attention on the opioid epidemic and we are all mindful of that, the issues among students in Bedford — the predominant issues — lie around drinking alcohol and vaping,” Superintendent Mike Fournier said on Thursday.
Several events have been held to remind local students and parents about the dangers associated with drinking, including a Bedford BeBold presentation last week highlighting the problems that can arise from hosting underage drinking parties.
“The message we are trying to get out is that this is illegal and there are consequences for students and their parents,” said Fournier. “This is really a partnership. The school can’t do it along. The parents can’t do it alone. The message has to be the same — underage drinking is not a good decision and there are negative consequences.”
A sergeant with the New Hampshire Division of Liquor Enforcement also spoke with Bedford parents recently about the dangers of underage drinking, and Chris Herren, a former Boston Celtics player, shared with students how cocaine, OxyContin and heroin destroyed his professional basketball career.