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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Jerry Noviello, Thurston County Prosecutor's Office, 360-239-3445

The Party's Over for 10 Underage Kids Partying in Thurston County

OLYMPIA- An underage drinking party in the Lacey area resulted in 10 underage youth between the ages of 17 - 20 being arrested for minor in possession of alcohol.

The party earlier this month had been reported by multiple neighbors who called 911 after hearing a lot of noise coming from the Carpenter Street home. All youth contacted by the Party Intervention Patrol (PIP) team were under the influence of alcohol. Previous to the patrol team's arrival, many other kids left the scene and were not contacted.

The project is part of the Thurston County Target Zero's goal to eliminate vehicular fatalities and serious injuries by 2030. By targeting youth at underage drinking parties, this project addresses two major focuses of the Target Zero plan: young drivers and impaired driving. Young drivers represent a disproportionate number of vehicular fatalities and serious injuries. Between 2007-2011, about 60% of the teens who died in a fatal collision in Thurston County were under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. This project targets that specific group to ensure that these young drivers do not drive impaired, and helps to impact their future decision making.

The Party Intervention Patrol is a strategy developed by the Pierce County DUI Taskforce, and has several components that differ from the traditional approach of breaking up underage parties and arresting youth for alcohol related offenses. The PIP approach to underage drinking parties still includes the element of arrest, but adds a brief, one-on-one session by a trained Chemical Dependency Professional (CDP). These sessions include a voluntary screening to offer feedback on their level of alcohol and drug use, and an opportunity for discussion about the resources available in the community that can help youth reduce their dangerous behaviors. In addition, parents that come to pick up their child also have the opportunity to meet with a CDP to discuss the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, and how they can be active in influencing their child to make better choices. In Pierce County, this project has been independently evaluated and shown to increase the perceptions of the harm and risk of using alcohol and an actual reduction in the future use of alcohol by youth.

Party Intervention Patrol is administered by the Thurston County Target Zero Taskforce. The project is funded by the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission.



County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3