VIRGINIA

More than 40 Arlington teens busted with alcohol

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More than 40 teens are facing underage drinking charges after a weekend house party.

While they tried fleeing, police say, they busted 43 Arlington teens at the home in the 3500 block of N. Nottingham Street .

James Smith, an Arlington father, said, "There were kids running in groups of three and four between yards, jumping fences, just trying to get out."

Smith lives behind the party house.

"I was hoping my daughter wasn't involved," Smith said. "Much to my relief, she texted me that she heard of the party being broken up, and she was not there."

Arlington County Police say they caught about five dozen teens with alcohol just before 10 p.m. Saturday. No parents were at the home.

Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said, "We were able to locate 59. Who knows how many more had gotten away."

Sternbeck explained the first officer who responded to noise complaints regarding the home was hit with beer bottles.

"They were very rude and uncooperative with us on scene," he added.

Forty-three teens were charged; 16 passed voluntary breathalyzer tests.

Arlington resident Kathy McKnight said, "You like to think that there are more fun things for kids to do than to go get drunk or destroy property."

McKnight is a mother of four and lives down the road from the party house. She said police have been called to the block twice over the winter after several cars had there side mirrors smashed.

"It's not very much fun for the people who are the victims of this kind of thing," McKnight continued.

Police told her teens were likely to blame.

Saturday's events have parents sitting their children down for a serious talk.

"It did open the door for conversations about making the right decision. If you're not at these events, you don't become part of the problem," Smith said.

Police say the bust was one of the largest parties they've broken up in recent memory. Underage drinking carries fines up to $2,000. Teens can also lose their license for up to a year. And the punishments could extend to school. Convicted teens could be banned from sporting events and even prom. Underage drinking can also effect graduation and college plans.

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