Underage Drinking in Clark: What Does It Mean For Your Teen?

ee18c84cbba7b27c47ba_IMG_3064.JPG
Clark has a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking. Credits: Elizabeth Clee
ee18c84cbba7b27c47ba_IMG_3064.JPG

CLARK, NJ – Minors in possession of alcohol were the guests of a 23-year-old township man when Clark Police were called to the scene of a backyard party by an observant neighbor on a recent Friday night.  Approximately 30 people were gathered at the home on the west side of town.

The homeowners were not on the premises and had no knowledge the party was taking place, Clark Chief of Police Pedro Matos said.  The 23-year-old party host was charged with a disorderly person’s offense.    

Four juveniles on the scene were taken into short-term custody by police until their parents could pick them up. 

Sign Up for E-News

“We do this for the safety of the child, so the child does not end up in more danger before the parents can get them,” Matos said.

Although most of the party-goers were over the age of 18, only a few were over 21, the legal age for alcohol consumption.  Therefore, Matos said, they face charges of underage possession of alcohol.

According to Matos, Clark police respond to two or three of these types of incidents each year.  

Juveniles found in possession of drugs or alcohol are required to meet with one of the town’s juvenile detectives, Matos said. The detective will decide whether or not the juvenile is charged with possession.  At the officer’s discretion, first offenders may instead be assigned to community service and/or be required to attend alcohol abuse counseling. 

So what can parents do to keep their children out of underage alcohol situations?

Matos suggests that parents know who their children are hanging out with and where they are spending their time. 

“Parents should trust their children, but verify,” Matos said. “If something doesn’t seem right, is out of the usual routine, out of place and not somewhere they usually go, then something is probably up and parents should ask more questions.”  

“Children face peer pressure and they need to understand that it may not be their intention, but teens can OD on alcohol, or drive drunk and seriously hurt of kill someone and these things have lifelong ramifications,” Matos added.

Police are required by law to notify a child’s school, either public or private, if the child is found in possession of alcohol or drugs during non-school hours.  School counselors often follow up with students to be sure they get any services they need in connection with the incident.

“We prefer to be more proactive with our students and parents instead of reactive,” Clark Superintendent of Schools Edward Grande said. “We do this by offering various informational programs throughout the school year to educate parents and students about topics related to drug use and teen drinking.”  

Matos encouraged parents to build a relationship with their teens and talk about the issues of underage drinking and drug use.   He said families should have a plan in place so children can seek their parents’ help to get out of a potential problem situation. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Clark

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_f9271be7c50b3bea46af_open_house_roselle

Wed, July 25, 9:00 AM

Durham School Services School Bus, Roselle

Hiring Event Open House Durham School Services ...

Business & Finance

Carousel_image_c78b21e6ed44eb79278a_burned_out

Wed, July 25, 7:00 PM

Cranford United Methodist Church, Cranford

Wednesday Night Prayer Time at Cranford United ...

Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_574768912fb23a4cacc7_bfeb2b8d2a5b0913fb60_2f2194e6f686708fbbc3_pd_fd_bbq

Sat, July 28, 12:00 PM

Clark Recreation Center, Clark

Clark PD vs Clark FD BBQ Cook-Off

Food & Drink Police & Fire

Prisoner Re-Entry Program Thriving In Union County

July 20, 2018

In the movement to reform national policies on incarceration, Union County is providing a valuable model for success. The local Reconnections prisoner re-entry program, funded in part by the Freeholder Board, has helped hundreds of formerly incarcerated individuals adjust back to life in the community.

Reconnections provides guidance and resources to help clients navigate housing, job ...

Residents Taking Action Against White Supremacist Fliers Found Around Bridgewater, Bedminster, Other Local Areas

July 18, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Residents of Bridgewater, Somerville, Morristown and surrounding communities are mobilizing for action after they found posters around town promoting Identity Evropa, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has labeled a white supremacist group.

According to Bridgewater resident Stacey Friedlander, a member of the “Not In Our Town – Bridgewater/Raritan” ...

"Tired of Cronyism? Yeah, us too!"

July 19, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County

Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption

from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and

running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.

 

 

Obituaries

Jun 29, 1927 - Apr 23, 2018
Margaret (Peggy) Kirk Leonard passed away Monday, April 23rd, surrounded by her loved ones. Peggy ...
Read more