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  • Juveniles and Alcohol

    I work as a security cyclist in a rather large campground in New Jersey, and as with all campgrounds, we have problems with juveniles and alcohol. This past weekend alone in cooperation with NJ State Police (due to there being no local police department) we were able to catch and arrest two juvenile suspects for burglarizing 10 trailers to steal alcohol.
    The full scope of the problem is far greater though, from underage intoxicated individuals on bicycles and golf carts to simple assualt and vandalism which we can almost always find empty containers near.
    Our problem with which I need assistance is that juveniles have become smarter, and are mixing stolen liquor in with their iced tea and soda, so we can no longer simply pin them on posession of open containers. Further calling in police to assist in probable cause cases with a breathalyzer test is increasingly difficult, as in the past we have had to wait from 30 minuites to two hours for a response.
    So I have acquired a digital breathalyzer for our own use, which is CE and DOT approved to +/-.01, so we will be able to determine if an individual has or has not been drinking, so we can call the State Police to deal with such. This is just so we can call the police for faster response with certainty that they will be able to return a result and find the party guily of underage drinking, not for any legal capacity. However, the catch is that in dealing with juveniles, I am fairly confident that under NJ laws, parental conscent must be made. Which is a major issue as most of our drinking occours in parental absence.

    Any advice on this subject of breathalyzers and juveniles, as well as dealing with the community problems caused by and of underage drinking in general would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    I can feel your pain. In my little community juveniles commit most of the crimes and alcohol is almost always involved. In fact, in the vast majority of our burglaries only alcohol is stolen.

    Our island has a very active Community Recreation program that sponsors such juvenile-friendly activities as sports leagues, video game and board game tournaments, dances, and the like. It keeps our kids occupied and mostly out of trouble, but there are still some hard cases that keep getting caught doing stupid things. You might want to suggest programs like this to your park director, if they do not already exist.

    I can also give you some advise about giving juveniles breathalyzer tests. The first thing I would do is to learn the signs of symptoms of being under the influence of alcohol. I am sure you can get some great info from the NJSP about this. If you observe a juvenile exhibiting signs and symptoms of alcohol influence, you have probable cause the arrest the juvenile for being under the influence of alcohol in a public place (or whatever it is called in NJ) and parental consent should no longer be an issue, although NJ state law may say different. Again, get some advise from the NJSP. Finally, if you think the juvenile is drunk, there is no harm in asking for his consent to be breathalyzed. If the kid agrees, parental consent would not be necessary. If the kid declines, you are no worse off than you were before.

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    • #3
      Thanks histfan, the complication with your advice rests in making an arrest, which legally we lack the authority to make, as my employer decided against to avoid liability. (having the training to do so, but not the authority to use it is really irritating) As a result we either verbally detain on the spot for the NJSP, escort them home to speak with parents, or evict offendors, all depending on the offense, and if it is park rule or law.

      As for symptoms of drinking, after working at Rutgers University as a unsworn student officer, I've had an education and a half on those. However the kids here tend to drink lightly as things are in short supply, and they usually don't start until late night, after the activies and such end at 11pm when curfew goes into effect. So usually, the symptoms are rather light, although I can almost always smell it on them, but only after approaching to ask their ages in reguard to curfew.

      And I will certainly follow your advice in speaking with the NJSP on procedures.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by cnick001
        Thanks histfan, the complication with your advice rests in making an arrest, which legally we lack the authority to make, as my employer decided against to avoid liability. (having the training to do so, but not the authority to use it is really irritating) As a result we either verbally detain on the spot for the NJSP, escort them home to speak with parents, or evict offendors, all depending on the offense, and if it is park rule or law.

        As for symptoms of drinking, after working at Rutgers University as a unsworn student officer, I've had an education and a half on those. However the kids here tend to drink lightly as things are in short supply, and they usually don't start until late night, after the activies and such end at 11pm when curfew goes into effect. So usually, the symptoms are rather light, although I can almost always smell it on them, but only after approaching to ask their ages in reguard to curfew.

        And I will certainly follow your advice in speaking with the NJSP on procedures.
        I might add to what histfan wrote and what you expressed by stating it is essential you must have everything in writing from competent legal authority. Be ready to explain the complex working of any device you use to determine "under the influence" as opposed to a field sobbiety test. Defense counsel in this instance is not a scold, he is just doing his level best to try to engender reasonable doubt.
        If the park authority comes up with a policy taken from thin air, without first having tested it with the park legal department, you can wind up in the "hot seat" along with the writer for not having validated the order.
        In this business you have to be a sobersides.
        Enjoy the day,
        Bill

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        • #5
          My hought is this:

          You come across a person (adult or juvenile) you suspect of drinking and want to have them do the breath test.

          If they refuse, then what?
          "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

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          • #6
            Originally posted by aka Bull
            If they refuse, then what?
            Exactly, without them operating a motor vehicle, which is automatic conscent to a breath test or arrest in NJ, drinking laws are hard to enforce. Looking for underage drinkers and the like is a difficult avenue that has not been taken before where I work, but is part of a process of community problem solving that my facility is pursuing, as the status quo of letting kids be kids no longer works when they turn to burglary and arson (arson was used in two attempts to gain entry) for booze.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by cnick001
              Exactly, without them operating a motor vehicle, which is automatic conscent to a breath test or arrest in NJ, drinking laws are hard to enforce. Looking for underage drinkers and the like is a difficult avenue that has not been taken before where I work, but is part of a process of community problem solving that my facility is pursuing, as the status quo of letting kids be kids no longer works when they turn to burglary and arson (arson was used in two attempts to gain entry) for booze.
              I can't speak for the law where you are, but here in Colorado (as in other states I lived in) you could refuse to test then too, you just lost your license for the refusal.

              Short of a warrant, the police can't force you to give a blood, breath (and then how do you force breath outta someone???), or urine for testing. they just note the refusal.

              It's a problem to be sure. The only course I see is to take them home to their parents for the curfew violation and tell them you also suspect they've been drinking (if you have reasonable suspicion they have been).
              "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

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              • #8
                Originally posted by aka Bull
                Short of a warrant, the police can't force you to give a blood, breath (and then how do you force breath outta someone???), or urine for testing. they just note the refusal.
                Actually Bull, police do not need a warrant to force a blood test. Here is a link to the case law on the subject:

                http://www.sdsheriff.net/legalupdate...pdate02.05.pdf

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                • #9
                  In Washington, I think I can refuse a breath test from a security guard and not worry about losing my license. Refusing an LEO is a different story.
                  "Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
                  "The Curve" 1998

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by histfan71
                    Actually Bull, police do not need a warrant to force a blood test. Here is a link to the case law on the subject:

                    http://www.sdsheriff.net/legalupdate...pdate02.05.pdf
                    That is California law. Here in Colorado (from the state statute on DUI, DWI etc):

                    No law enforcement officer shall physically restrain any person for the purpose of obtaining a specimen of such person's blood, breath, saliva, or urine for testing except when the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed criminally negligent homicide pursuant to section 18-3-105, C.R.S., vehicular homicide pursuant to section 18-3-106 (1) (b), C.R.S., assault in the third degree pursuant to section 18-3-204 , C.R.S., or vehicular assault pursuant to section 18-3-205 (1) (b), C.R.S., and the person is refusing to take or to complete, or to cooperate in the completing of, any test or tests, then, in such event, the law enforcement officer may require a blood test.

                    Only in the violations shown may a test be forced on a driver. Otherwise the officer notes the refusal.

                    It all depends on the laws in your state. A driver gives implied consent when he/she gets a license (just like most states) to give the requested tests - but forcing the test is not legal except as noted above.
                    Last edited by aka Bull; 08-03-2006, 12:58 PM.
                    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

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                    • #11
                      The Implied Consent is a contract between you and the DMV, not the LE agency. It is a warning from the DMV that they will take administrative action against your driver's license if you fail to perform any field sobriety test or breathalizer test requested by a LEO.

                      From my understanding, most DUI lawyers tell you to keep your mouth shut (limit slurred speech and alcohol breath, and mouthing off which may result in an arrest for Pissing Off Deputy), get out of the car (Open air gets the fumes away), refuse any FST (Removes amount of evidence), and fight it in court.

                      When your license is suspended, and you win the DUI case, you fight to have the license restated through the DMV Administrative Process.
                      Some Kind of Commando Leader

                      "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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                      • #12
                        Even if you are found not guilty for DUI in court, that has no bearing in the DMV Appeal Hearing. All the officer has to prove in Michigan is that
                        "You were operating the vehicle"
                        "You were arrested for DUI"
                        "You were read you rights to a chemical test"
                        "You refused to take the chemical test"
                        After that your license is suspended for 6 months and 6 points are added to your driving record.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by aka Bull
                          That is California law................
                          Exactly. Not applicable in some other states. NO ONE should be forced to submit to an invasive medical procedure as far as I'm concerned.
                          Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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