Another teen party bust


Less than a month after teen party hosts George Robinson and Elisa Kelly began serving a 27-month jail sentence, the teen partygoers are at it again.

Albemarle County police busted a large underage drinking party last night at 3510 Meriwether Hill Lane in Charlottesville. A total of 25 partygoers under 21 were arrested, including 10 juveniles. Blood alcohol levels of those arrested were as high as .12, according to police officials. Two of those over 18 were also charged with obstruction of justice. No word yet on whether there were adults 21 or over at the party, but police say charges are pending against one other adult whose identity is being withheld until the investigation is complete.

News of the bust comes on the heels of a Washington Post article yesterday, which contrasts the 27-month jail sentence handed down to Robinson and Kelly with similar cases. In places like Maryland and Fairfax County, party-hosting parents are typically given civil fines. In Fairfax County, a man convicted of buying beer for a 16-year-old girl who later crashed her SUV and died was given 17 days in jail. Similarly, a Fairfax County couple who hosted a teen drinking party after which one teen died were not charged. No teens were injured at Robinson and Kelly's party.

The Post article pointed out that "Legal experts on underage drinking say civil penalties are more effective than criminal penalties."

"We don't believe that locking up mom and dad is the answer," said Michelle Blackstone of the Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center, based in Calverton. "Research suggests that going after the purse strings is much more effective."

3 comments

This 27 month sentence is a travesty of justice and (as one national paper put it) a judicial tantrum. This has devastated an entire family so that a few sanctimonious so called Christians (read the comments left after your last article) can throw stones. Libby walks after obstructing justice and we can do nothing about it, but on the local level we the people can still control the courts by carefully voting for reasonable people who will be careful with the power given them. Think if this were your family and your first serious mistake!

I think this sentence was a bit harsh. It should be a monetary fine/punishment. Hit them where it really hurts.

But also let's remember: It is illegal to provide alcohol to minors! ILLEGAL! If you agree with the law or not it's still illegal. What if you had a child at this party where alcohol was being served? Would you be alright with that?

If you don't like the punishment then you've got 2 choices. Follow the law or change the law.

Judge Dwight Johnson should be disbarred.