Posted on October 19, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Friday, Oct 19 at 10:59 PM
MERCER ISLAND, Wash. -- It is a party weekend on Mercer Island. Some students have been waiting for Homecoming to arrive while some parents have been anxious about it.
The concern stems from the underage drinking issues that come up nearly every year at this time. However, this year there is a new resource that could help, the Mercer Island Underage Drinking Ordinance.
The ordinance went into effect at the beginning of the year. It goes after the owner or renter of a home where minors are caught drinking. Each violation comes with a $250 penalty.
Friday night at Mercer Island High School, students filled the stands for the football game. Saturday night is the Homecoming dance. Senior Blaise Suhr said the way it usually works is students do not spend very much time at the dance.
"Kids have usually been saying, 'the dance is not really fun, let’s go the after party, let’s just stay at the dance for 30 minutes.' There's definitely alcohol at the after parties," said Suhr.
Suhr said he will not be drinking, but he is concerned about other students. Derek Franklin with Mercer Island Communities that Care Coalition said parents need to be aware that underage drinking is an issue on Mercer Island.
"Mercer Island has already had higher than state average underage alcohol use," said Franklin. "This weekend I would like to see no harmed children and no DUIs."
Franklin's group sent a letter home to parents that offered safety tips and information about the Underage Drinking Ordinance.
"I hear the parents saying, 'I am not going to be one of these parents that gets a ticket,'" said Detective Chad Schumacher with the Mercer Island Police Department.
Police officers plan to be on the lookout for underage drinking parties throughout the weekend, according to Det. Schumacher.