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Party Patrol begins

The King County Sheriff’s special-enforcement program that targets parties with minors consuming alcohol made 143 arrests or citations on a variety of charges last Friday and Saturday nights.

Eight of those citations were issued to store clerks in several local communities for selling alcohol to minors.

The enforcement efforts were the first weekend of Party Patrol 2008 as the annual program continues for the next several weeks. Party Patrol enforcement began in 1998 and is a multi-jurisdictional effort by local police agencies coordinated by the Sheriff’s Office to reduce teen drinking and drug use.

The majority of violations last weekend were for Minor in Possession of Alcohol with others including Furnishing Premises for Minors to Consume Alcohol, Possession of Marijuana, DUI, and three arrests on felony drug charges.

“My goal here is to keep kids alive,” said Sheriff Sue Rahr. “There are times, like now, when we have to have a firm hand in law enforcement to avoid senseless tragedies.”

Liquor control agents also assisted police with undercover compliance checks of businesses to make sure they aren’t selling alcohol to minors.

Deputies may obtain search warrants to enter residences if necessary. Persons under the age of 18 found drinking will be arrested, then released only to their parents or booked into the Youth Center. Those between 18 and 21, as well as parents or other adults providing the premises for the party, will get a misdemeanor citation and could be booked into jail.

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