John J. Bryfonski, Chief of Police
55 Constitution Drive
Bedford, NH 03110
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Bedford Police Arrest Two Juveniles Following Underage Drinking Party
Department Warns of the Consequences and Dangers of Drinking Underage
BEDFORD, N.H. — Chief John J. Bryfonski reports that the Bedford Police Department arrested the teenage host of a party where people were drinking underage Saturday night.
A JUVENILE MALE, AGE 15, OF BEDFORD was arrested and charged with Unlawful Possession due to Intoxication and Facilitating an Underage Party.
A second JUVENILE MALE, AGE 15, OF BEDFORD was arrested and charged with Resisting Arrest and Providing False Information.
On Saturday, May 4, at approximately 11:13 p.m., Bedford Police receieved an anonymous tip via Nixle and were dispatched to a report of an ongoing party where people under 21 were believed to be drinking. Upon arrival, officers confirmed that an underage drinking party was ongoing when they detected the odor of alcohol.
Officers located one teen who had fallen ill from drinking and was subsequently transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation.
The second JUVENILE MALE was placed under arrest after he allegedly provided a false name to officers and was then uncooperative while being taken into custody.
Additional minors involved in the party were taken into protective custody and later released to the custody of their parents.
“This incident is an example of some of the serious consequences of underage drinking, of which legal liability is only part of the equation,” Chief Bryfonski said. “Underage individuals and adults alike need to be aware of the law, and it’s incumbent upon parents and guardians to understand their responsibility to prevent their kids from drinking under age.”
New Hampshire’s social host law holds adults and those underage accountable.
Under New Hampshire RSA 644:18, the Facilitating a Drug or Underage Alcohol Party Law, anyone 18 or older who hosts a party where underage drinking or illegal drug use is taking place may be subject to:
- Arrest and a Class A misdemeanor charge
- Jail time and/or fines up to $2,000.
Hosts can also be held liable in a civil proceeding for any injury or death resulting from underage drinking or illegal drug use that occurs on their property or at a property under their control.
Anyone under the age of 18 can also be charged with hosting an underage party, charged as juveniles.
Teens and young adults should know that underage drinking can result in:
- License suspension
- Loss of vehicle
- Minimum fines of $600
- Anyone over the age of 16 can be charged as an adult
- Possible loss of college scholarship or grant money
The risks associated with underage drinking extend well beyond the reach of the legal system, and can carry lifelong consequences, according to Drug Free NH:
- Studies show that a person who starts drinking before age 15 is four times more likely to develop alcoholism than someone who delays drinking until age 21.
- Each year, about 5,000 people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking. Here is the breakdown:
- People who are under the influence may take dangerous risks such as getting behind the wheel of a car, driving recklessly, picking a fight, or doing something else they will regret.
- Drinking too much can lead to alcohol poisoning, blacking out, and choking on one’s vomit.
- Drinking too much decreases alertness, which can cause someone to ignore signs of alcohol poisoning in others or danger to themselves.