Pierce County law enforcement officers arrested five youths and three adults last weekend during a party intervention patrol.
Twenty-five volunteers, police and substance abuse professionals conducted the patrol last weekend because it was prom night for Orting High School students, a Pierce County press release states.
An additional 12 more party intervention patrols are planned throughout the county in the upcoming weeks. The dates of those patrols were not announced.
The first party intervention patrol was April 24. The patrols “aim to shut down illegal parties as early as possible, arrest youth and adult suppliers who violate underage drinking laws,” the press release states.
Substance abuse professionals also hope to get kids and parents resources on how to stop alcohol-fueled teen partying.
During Saturday’s patrol, officers received an anonymous tip that some Orting students would be heading to a spot outside the city limits after their prom. Officers set up surveillance on the location.
One teen was arrested on suspicion of being a minor in possession and one adult on suspicion of furnishing alcohol to a minor, the press release states.
Officers discovered marijuana plants, marijuana smoking devices, cultivation products and a drug scale at the location. Narcotics officers from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department were called, the press release states.
At a second party in Bonney Lake, officers arrested four youths on suspicion of being minors in possession of alcohol and two adults on suspicion of furnishing alcohol to minors.
One teen had a blood-alcohol level of nearly two times the legal driving limit. Paramedics took the teen to the hospital for possible alcohol poisoning and/or a drug overdose, the press release states.
On Friday, Orting police conducted compliance checks at businesses to see if any were selling alcohol to minors. Two employees were cited after selling to underage operatives.
“Sometimes the kids are ahead of us; sometimes we are ahead of them,” said Branden Porter, Orting police officer and law enforcement coordinator of the multi-agency patrol. “I’m happy to report that last Saturday night, we were ahead of them.”