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  • Underage Consumption of Alcohol

    How's it going? I'm new in here. I'm in my 4th year as a criminal justice student about to graduate next year. My goal has always been a career with the New Jersey State Police. I've done numerous internships with local police departments (ride alongs, etc.) and learned quite a lot of stuff not taught in classrooms at my college. Anyways I've always kept a clean nose I am a volunteeer firefighter as well so that keeps me busy and out of trouble. I had never been pulled over or anything, my record has been perfect until a "wrong place at the wrong time" incident occurred last night.

    I was going to create this thread in the Ask a Police Officer forum but that was traffic related questions. So please bare with me and my story. Last night was my good friends 21st birthday. I am still 20 at least for another 58 days. My friend was throwing a party for himself at his house last night. I decide to stop by and see some old friends that I had not seen in awhile cause I have been busy with college. I am not a big drinker whatsoever I really don't care for the taste of any beer or alcohol. Plus as a firefighter and being avid about fitness I like to stay hydrated. Upon my arrival around 10pm I have a can of Budweiser with my friend. People kept coming to this party that I had not seen in years and I got carried away in converstations before I knew it, it was almost 2am and I decide I'm going to head home.
    But my luck is never good and as I say my goodbyes and head out the back door 3 police officers are standing in the doorway. They walk right in the back door and tell everyone to "Sit down and shut up and keep your hands where we can see them!" So I sat down and the one Officer got details on who lived in the house. He then asked who had something to drink tonight and he said that if you say no we will test and if you're lying you will get in more trouble. Sure 4 hours had gone by since I had that can of Budweiser but I was still nervous so I raised my hand. He then split us up. There were about 30 kids in the house at the time. About 6 of them were 21 and older and were told to go home. Everyone under 18 was put in a seperate room where they had to call their parents to come get picked up. Then us 18-20 year olds were written tickets for Underage Consumption of Alcohol. There were about 15 of us that recieved this ticket.

    The one officer that wrote me my ticket was a pretty nice guy I respected him and he respected me. I told him I was a CJ major and wanted to become a police officer. He told me I would be fine and this would not affect my record at all. My question basically is he telling the truth? Will my record be effected by this ticket? Do I need to get a lawyer? What is the worst case scenario for an Underage Consumption of Alcohol summons? Any information would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
    Last edited by Foter; 05-18-2008, 01:40 PM.

  • #2
    Pay the fine and carry on. It really isn't a big deal. 95% of the people on here will admit to having a few sips while they were shy of the proper age. The other 5% are lying.

    Comment


    • #3
      This is not a big deal. Just admit it in backgrounds and move on - if this is your only "black eye", you don't have a thing to worry about.
      LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO DRINK CHEAP BEER!

      Comment


      • #4
        Pay the fine and carry on. It really isn't a big deal. 95% of the people on here will admit to having a few sips while they were shy of the proper age. The other 5% are lying.
        While I'll admit to having a few sips, every one of them was given to me BY MY PARENTS on special occasions. (which is legal in texas). Not everyone participates in illegal underage consumption.

        Maybe you didn't believe in being a law abiding citizen as an underage individual but don't assume that everyone else was as irresponsible as you were.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JMTX View Post
          While I'll admit to having a few sips, every one of them was given to me BY MY PARENTS on special occasions. (which is legal in texas). Not everyone participates in illegal underage consumption.

          Maybe you didn't believe in being a law abiding citizen as an underage individual but don't assume that everyone else was as irresponsible as you were.
          Wow you're not holier than thou at all now are you?

          Anyway, to the OP. The bad thing is you're gonna have to dish out some cash. The good thing is when it comes time to getting a job, nobody is going to care. I thought you were going to say you kept on drinkin, drove home, and got arrested for DUI (that would be way different)... but obviously that isn't the case. Just keep working how and you'll be just fine.

          Just one piece of advice... don't go shouting to every cop you see that you're a CJ major and you're going to become the popo (not saying you do, just saying)... it gets annoying.

          Comment


          • #6
            My question is, how can they cite you if they don't observe you drinking, or in possession.

            Second, if it was 4 hours later after only one beer you would have tested negative.
            Retired LASD

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by StudChris View Post
              Anyway, to the OP. The bad thing is you're gonna have to dish out some cash. The good thing is when it comes time to getting a job, nobody is going to care. I thought you were going to say you kept on drinkin, drove home, and got arrested for DUI (that would be way different)... but obviously that isn't the case. Just keep working how and you'll be just fine.

              Just one piece of advice... don't go shouting to every cop you see that you're a CJ major and you're going to become the popo (not saying you do, just saying)... it gets annoying.
              Well I eventually did drive home at around 5am. On my way home the Sgt. that was at the house was on the side of the road with all the lights off and I drove past him abiding all traffic laws and doing the speed limit. He pulled me over about 100 feet away from my friends house. He says "weren't you drinking tonight?" I said sir that was hours ago I feel that I am sober by now. He took my license, registration, insurance walked back to his car. Meanwhile 3 more officers rolled up. One of the other Officers that just arrived on the scene approached my car. At the time my wallet was lying open on my lap and he shined his flashlight on it and said "What is that badge for?" refering to my Fire Dept. Badge I keep in my wallet. I told him I was a fire fighter and he said ok thats cool. Then he pointed out a family PBA card given to my by my friends father who is a detective in Elizabeth, NJ. I told him who he was and his relationship to me. He asked to see it and took it back to the Sgt.'s car behind me. The Sgt. then came back and asked if I was a paid fireman. I told him no sir I am a volunteer. He then asked me to step out of the vehicle. I walked to the front of his car where he then told me to touch the tip of the finger then follow it back and fourth without moving my head. Then after doing that for a minute he stopped and stared at me, then handed me my paperwork and said have a good night. So yeah last night was really a disaster.

              And I can understand how telling a cop you a CJ major is annoying. I just mentioned it to him because I was concerned about my record and if it would hurt my chances of being a police officer.

              Originally posted by Retired96 View Post
              My question is, how can they cite you if they don't observe you drinking, or in possession.

              Second, if it was 4 hours later after only one beer you would have tested negative.
              I didn't question their authority. I didn't want to risk anything even if I would have tested negative. All I knew was the last thing I drank was a beer.


              Thanks for the info. so far, it helps!

              Comment


              • #8
                Wow you're not holier than thou at all now are you?
                If he doesn't want a holier than thou reaction, he shouldn't issue blanket statements and then accuse those of us who disagree of being liars.

                Some of us worked hard to be good teenagers...no drinking, no smoking, no unchaperoned parties, no drugs, no skipping school, no detention...and we don't appreciate being lumped in with miscreants and having it implied that we didn't exist.
                Last edited by JMTX; 05-18-2008, 04:04 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Foter View Post
                  Well I eventually did drive home at around 5am. On my way home the Sgt. that was at the house was on the side of the road with all the lights off and I drove past him abiding all traffic laws and doing the speed limit. He pulled me over about 100 feet away from my friends house. He says "weren't you drinking tonight?" I said sir that was hours ago I feel that I am sober by now. He took my license, registration, insurance walked back to his car. Meanwhile 3 more officers rolled up. One of the other Officers that just arrived on the scene approached my car. At the time my wallet was lying open on my lap and he shined his flashlight on it and said "What is that badge for?" refering to my Fire Dept. Badge I keep in my wallet. I told him I was a fire fighter and he said ok thats cool. Then he pointed out a family PBA card given to my by my friends father who is a detective in Elizabeth, NJ. I told him who he was and his relationship to me. He asked to see it and took it back to the Sgt.'s car behind me. The Sgt. then came back and asked if I was a paid fireman. I told him no sir I am a volunteer. He then asked me to step out of the vehicle. I walked to the front of his car where he then told me to touch the tip of the finger then follow it back and fourth without moving my head. Then after doing that for a minute he stopped and stared at me, then handed me my paperwork and said have a good night. So yeah last night was really a disaster.

                  And I can understand how telling a cop you a CJ major is annoying. I just mentioned it to him because I was concerned about my record and if it would hurt my chances of being a police officer.



                  I didn't question their authority. I didn't want to risk anything even if I would have tested negative. All I knew was the last thing I drank was a beer.


                  Thanks for the info. so far, it helps!
                  I am in the academy right now and a few things confuse me although this is posted from another state, so that may be part of the problem.

                  I'd like to ask a few questions regarding the legality of what was done here, and if no one wants to post and answer publically, please PM me, I understand.

                  1) How can an officer enter someones private residence and tell everyone there to sit down and shut up? Wouldn't they need to be allowed in by someone? Is this different for NJ?

                  2) How can you summons someone for them admitting they drank alcohol? Don't you need to witness violations?

                  3) How can you make a lawful car stop with someone who you saw at a party three hours before but was driving home and violated no traffic laws? Pulling out the operator on that info alone and doing SFST's?

                  Obviously we were not there and don't know the WHOLE story, but it seems very fishy to me. Maybe the parents of the house called the cops cause they knew kids were drinking? I am sure the Sgt would be able to articulate soem random VTL violation to stop the vehicle anyway, but it still seems like a strange night at the least.
                  -----------------------------------------------------------------
                  "Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JMTX View Post
                    If he doesn't want a holier than thou reaction, he shouldn't issue blanket statements and then accuse those of us who disagree of being liars.

                    Some of us worked hard to be good teenagers...no drinking, no smoking, no unchaperoned parties, no drugs, no skipping school, no detention...and we don't appreciate being lumped in with miscreants and having it implied that we didn't exist.
                    A 20yo drinking a beer does not make him/her a miscreant.

                    I know the laws. I know the motivation and history behind the laws, as well as the private and public lobbyists who push things through. I understand the differences between our culture and, say, European culture with respect to alcohol.

                    I also see we have men/women in this age bracket dying overseas for our country.

                    I try to look at the big picture and keep things in perspective. I don't have any hard or fast way of handling these situations (with one exception)... but I'm more likely to have 18+ers just dump out alcohol.

                    Exception: If you throw in a car (driver had been drinking/passenger with open container) all bets are off.
                    Last edited by Resq14; 05-18-2008, 04:43 PM.
                    All Gave Some - Some Gave All

                    {"data-align":"none","data-size":"custom","data-tempid":"temp_14312_1475388990098_890","height":"65","title":"flower.gif","width":"72"}

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      LOL...off topic for a second, but JM's statement made me laugh. I've got to side with her...SOME of us, as teenagers, didn't drink or do drugs. Not at all. It's slightly annoying from time to time when the attitude of "everybody" has done something is brought up. No. Not everyone did.

                      To the OP: Yesh, you did have a bad night, huh? I won't say it won't hurt your chances. I think some things can be explained and that's probably the case here. Of course, if you pay the fine, you're admitting guilt and it will come up. Of course, if you pay a lawyer, you're still going to have to mention it to a BI in the future so I suppose you should save the money you'd give to a lawyer, go to court and explain it to the judge.
                      sigpic

                      I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PTLovesMe81 View Post
                        I am in the academy right now and a few things confuse me although this is posted from another state, so that may be part of the problem.

                        I'd like to ask a few questions regarding the legality of what was done here, and if no one wants to post and answer publically, please PM me, I understand.

                        1) How can an officer enter someones private residence and tell everyone there to sit down and shut up? Wouldn't they need to be allowed in by someone? Is this different for NJ?

                        2) How can you summons someone for them admitting they drank alcohol? Don't you need to witness violations?

                        3) How can you make a lawful car stop with someone who you saw at a party three hours before but was driving home and violated no traffic laws? Pulling out the operator on that info alone and doing SFST's?

                        Obviously we were not there and don't know the WHOLE story, but it seems very fishy to me. Maybe the parents of the house called the cops cause they knew kids were drinking? I am sure the Sgt would be able to articulate soem random VTL violation to stop the vehicle anyway, but it still seems like a strange night at the least.
                        1) PC that criminal act had occurred or was occurring.

                        2) I issued nine of them last night. They told me they were drinking and they smelled of alcohol. They had it in their "possession" because it's in their body.

                        3) You don't know why the Officer pulled him over and neither does the OP. Granted, they had seen him earlier, but that doesn't mean the Officer didn't observe a traffic infraction or violation and used it for the stop. It doesn't matter one bit what the Officer motivation for the stop is.
                        sigpic

                        I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Interesting story. I NEVER understand cops that tell people "its no big deal" or "this will not affect your career in LE." I would never tell you that, because in all truth,,, IT MAY. I do not work for HR/Recruitment but ANYTHING can make them pass you over and go to the next person on the list. There are more applicants than jobs.

                          Having said that, just be honest when it comes time. I also question the actions of issuing you a citation without seeing you in possession. You may want to get a friend who is an attorney and have them give you some advice. I know some dept.s that if you get convicted of undage drinking/possession, they make you wait a few years, sometimes up to 5 before they hire you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I don't think you've killed your chances at an LE career. The decision to hire an Attorney/plead Not guilty is yours. Either way the citation will come up on your Personal History Statement, Polygraph Quesntionaire, or similar document. List it. Make no excuses, justifications etc. Chalk the whole deal up to a learning experience, and move on.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If they cited you solely on your admission of drinking, without giving you a preliminary breath test, that would not go over here in az at all! You cannot self incriminate yourself, therefore your admission of guilt is not admissable in court.

                              If I were you, i'd fight it and asked it be denied for a lack of evidence!
                              "When I close my eyes.....I'll see you on the other side....!!!"

                              Hate to put it this way skippy, buy every night I suit up and climb in the cruiser I'm at war. I'm always outnumbered, potentially out gunned and always behind enemy lines.

                              Comment

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