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From the desk of Art Keffer

POSTED April 13, 2011 4:17 p.m.

This weekend Ellinwood High School will be having prom at St. Joseph Parish Center. It is the Ellinwood Police Departments hope that everyone who chooses to attend prom has a very good time. My main concern is what will occur after prom. I have been informed that there are no plans to have an after-prom party at the Ellinwood Grade School as there has been in past years. I have also been informed, at least the rumor mill has stated, that there is the real possibility of some under-age drinking parties occurring due to there not being an after-prom party.

This is where I remind everyone of the under-age drinking laws and the hosting laws. As I have said in the past, and I hope everyone who reads this takes it seriously, that allowing a person under the age of 21 to consume alcoholic beverages is a violation of the under-age drinking laws. Furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors, other than your own children is a crime and is punishable with a minimum fine of $200. That’s at a minimum.

If you allow under-aged drinking to occur on your property or at a location which you are responsible for, you are in violation of the hosting laws. At a minimum you can expect a fine of $1,000 if you are convicted. Since this crime is also considered a class A violation, there is the strong possibility that you could be arrested when law enforcement arrives to deal with any and all observed violations.

So I am asking for the publics’ help in insuring that this weekend is a safe and memorable weekend for all the teens in Barton County and the surrounding area as they attend prom. Let’s be safe and stop under-aged drinking from occurring. If you do see under-aged drinking occur, please report it by dialing 911.

Thanks in advance and have a safe weekend.

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