Underage drinkers - thinking about throwing a party in your home while the folks are away? Think again.
The Township Council recently adopted an ordinance that gives police more enforcement power when it comes to underage drinking in private residences.
"The adoption of this ordinance now enables township police to enter onto private property and issue citations for underage drinking, when a guardian and/or parent is not present," Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. said.
The ordinance targets parties on private private property where underage persons are present and drinking alcohol without the permission or knowledge of parents, relatives or guardians, the mayor said.
It also provides immunity for anyone who calls 911 for medical assistance for an underage drinker and the underage drinker who receives assistance, Amato said.
The ordinance was prompted by a Midway Beach family who came to the June 12 Township Council meeting to complain about rowdy underage drinkers who partied more than 12 hours one day over Memorial Day weekend.
"We listened to them brag about how they intended to enjoy a "Jersey Shore" weekend," said William Wynne, whose wife's family has owned a bungalow in Midway Beach since 1995. "They intended to follow in the footsteps of their heroes, Snooki, the Situation..."
The youths also bragged about obtaining liquor and fake I.D.s, even though they were underage, Wynne told the council.
Township Attorney Lauren Staiger said at the June 12 council meeting she wasn't sure if the township had an ordinance regulating underage drinking in private residences. But there is one the books now, with the council's adoption of the ordinance at the Sept. 6 meeting.
Violators will be fined $250 for the first offense and $350 for any subsequent offenses. The municipal court judge could also "suspend or postpone" driving priviliges for six months, the ordinance states.