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WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 01, 2012, 06:57 PM

Metro police on the lookout for underage drinking at graduation parties

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It's a time of celebration for thousands of seniors in the Red River Valley. Graduation is finally here, but with that celebration comes responsibility.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It's a time of celebration for thousands of seniors in the Red River Valley. Graduation is finally here, but with that celebration comes responsibility.

As Fargo South Seniors get set to walk across that stage on Sunday, they along with hundreds of other seniors in Fargo will be hosting parties and maybe making some unwise decisions. Police have a warning: If parents think it's okay for your 18 year-old to drink just because it's their graduation, you’d better think again.

Lt. Joel Vettel – Fargo Police: “We have a very low tolerance for those types of behaviors where people are contributing alcohol to minors.”

And that low tolerance will cost, to the tune of a $1,000 fine or up to 90 days in jail. Refuse to leave the party? $500. Don't cooperate with the police? $500. Fargo police say they understand it's graduation weekend, but don't expect any leniency. If you have a party and kids are drinking you will be hit with a citation, even if you're not there.

Lt. Vettel: “We don't want people contributing alcohol to minors, it's wrong and it's illegal.”

It's not just city police, the Clay County Sheriff's office doesn't have specific hosting rules, but is ready for a rowdy weekend.

Bill Bergquist – Clay County Sheriff: “We're going to go there and if there are underage people drinking, that person who is hosting that part is going to have a pretty stiff fine and family.”

We've all seen the movies, the crazy parties, the abundance of alcohol and the glorified ending where nobody gets seriously hurt. For these officers, that's not real life.

Bill Bergquist: “No matter when it happens, that one time is one too many. The people that I've spoken to over the years, because of something tragic that happens, they wish they would've never done it.”

Moorhead has similar social hosting rules, with misdemeanor offenses carrying a maximum $700 fine and/or 90 days in jail. To avoid a noise complaint or fine in Fargo, you better wrap up the loud party by 10 PM, alcohol or no alcohol.

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