Police cite 32 underage drinkers at party in Pierce County

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TACOMA — Pierce County authorities Thursday warned parents to keep tabs on their high-school-age children this summer after law enforcement busted a large underage drinking party over the weekend.

County officials said in a news release that they arrested a husband and wife who allegedly allowed their home in East Pierce County to be used for the party. The parents were present at the party, where police also cited 32 underage drinkers late Saturday and early Sunday.

More than 100 people might have attended the party at some point, according to the news release. The attendees were primarily students or recent graduates of Puyallup and Emerald Ridge high schools.

"You'd think parents would rethink their 'don't ask, don't tell' policy when it comes to alcohol use, especially during prom and graduation season," said Puyallup police Sgt. Bob Thompson, who coordinated the multi-agency Party Intervention Patrol that broke up the party.

Sheriff's deputies and other authorities found a keg at the home as well as canned beer, wine and hard liquor. They also discovered the homeowners' teenage daughter passed out on her bed amid pools of vomit and an 18-year-old man unconscious inside a tent. Authorities said they arrested another young man who allegedly had a mason jar full of marijuana in a car parked on the street nearby.

"The parents arrested Saturday night told police that their daughter said the party would be alcohol-free," the news release states.

Volunteers who work with the intervention patrol said parents should monitor their children's night-time activities and report suspected teen drinking parties to authorities.

"Silence is never good when parents don't report parties in their own neighborhood," said Liz Yotty, a parent volunteer with the intervention patrol. "Our goal is to get kids home safe to give them another day to make a better decision."