There’s an old saying, “You go to war with the army you have.” It’s like another way of saying, when you have to do something, you do the best with what you’ve got. Well, what the Park City Police Department has to do is fight crime. And what they’ve got is a bunch of 18-year-olds drinking beer, so that’s what they fight against. (You go to war against the army you have, too, I suppose.)
Basically, it seems the Park City Police have been on a bit of a Minor in Possession blitz lately (I imagine it has a code-name, too: Operation Scatter-Bomb, maybe). If there’s a gathering in your back yard and the police catch wind of it, they might storm in, detain everyone present, and have them take portable breath tests (PBTs). If you’re inside your house, they’ll get search warrant to come in and check IDs. Seriously. It happens. This overzealous enforcement seems, at the least, a questionable use of police resources. At its worst, it can violate the constitutional rights of everyone there.
Of course, it is illegal for a minor to drink alcohol in his own house, even with his parent’s permission, and a conviction for “MiP” can have serious consequences, including a driver’s license suspension. So if you’ve been cited for Minor in Possession by the Park City Police, make sure to get in touch with me or another local attorney for a confidential consultation about your case before you walk into court and plead guilty. If there was a constitutional violation, we’ll try to get the case dismissed. If not, we’ll help make sure you get the best result possible, minimizing the collateral consequences.
For more information, check out these posts:
The Law of Automobile Search and Seizure (not exactly the same topic, but a bit similar)