Early Sunday morning, Yavapai County Sheriff’s deputies responding to a medical call found over 150 young people, many underage, at an alcohol-fueled prom after-party in the middle of the desert, The Daily Courier reports.
The officers detained 65 underage individuals, citing 34 of them for underage drinking. Those who were under the age of 18 were held until an adult arrived to drive them home.
The responding deputies found a male lying in the middle of the road “in an extremely intoxicated condition” 6 miles from Highway 69. Nearby the officers found more than 150 teenagers partying around a large bonfire.
As soon as the deputies arrived, many of the teens began fleeing in cars. However, the deputies detained 65 of the participants. All were under 21, and some of them as young as 15. The deputies cited 34 of the students, most for underage drinking.
Arizona has a zero-tolerance policy for underage individuals. If a person under the age of 21 is caught driving with any alcohol in their system at all, they can be charged with DUI. Underage DUI is punishable by 2 years of probation, high fines, and the installation of an ignition interlock device in the driver’s car. Possession of an open alcoholic beverage alone can lead to misdemeanor charges and heavy fines for anyone under 21.
In addition, it’s illegal for anyone 21 or over to sell or give liquor to any underage person. Furnishing alcohol to a minor is punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 6 months and a maximum fine of $2,500. It’s also a Class 3 misdemeanor for an underage person to solicit others to purchase alcohol for them.
The after-party, which students referred to as “Project X,” was promoted through social media and involved students from several Yavapai County high schools.
- Find a Phoenix DUI Law Attorney (FindLaw)
- 65 Detained in After-Prom Alcohol Desert Party (The Associated Press)
- Arizona DUI Laws (FindLaw)
- Parents: Combat Underage Drinking During Teen Driver Safety Week (FindLaw’s Phoenix DUI Blog)