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Minor in Possession (Alcohol) while in car with Adult

Discussion in 'Juvenile Crime, Law & Court' started by SamiPug, Nov 6, 2013.

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  1. SamiPug

    SamiPug Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I was giving my son's prom date a ride home from an after prom party at 5am and was targeted by a cop right outside our sub for "rolling through" a stop sign at the end of our street. He had broken up the party around 3 am that the kids had been attending at a neighbors. My son had been breathalized and had not been drinking but had gone home and was sleeping. When the cop pulled me over he said he smelled alcohol in the car and made me get out to perform a field sobriety test. I told him to just breathalize me and I blew a 0.00. He then said he would take the 17 year old out of the car and submit her to the test. I said I wanted to stay with her. He would not let me. After she blew a .02 he put her in his patrol car and called her parents. I said I wanted to stay with her until they arrived. She had told me she was very scared and was in tears before they made her get out of my car. He told me I could not sit with her and that I should go home. I asked if he was saying I could not sit with her because he did not WANT me to or because LEGALLY I could not. He told me I just needed to go home and insisted I do that right away. The officers ended up questioning the minor about the party and used the information in a report against the host of the party.

    My question is: Did I have a LEGAL right, as the adult in charge of the minor, to stay with her until her parents arrived? I know the cops wanted desperatly to get her alone to question her about the party (that's why they were set up outside the sub and pulling people over. They had pulled my husband over 10 min before me for "rolling through" the stop sign too, but let him go immediately because he was alone.)
     
  2. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    First off, you & your husband need to watch rolling through stop signs. If the officer told you to leave, it was best that you obeyed him. You don't want to disobey an officer. The minor could have remained silent until her parents got there.
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    No, you had no rights, insofar as that chid was concerned.

    I suggest you be very careful even thinking about DISOBEYING a police officer.

    You'll never win an argument on the street.

    Do as you're instructed, and beef it later.

    By the way, do you think your actions (rolling through a STOP sign), debating with the police set a proper example for ANY minor?
     
  4. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    Okay ... so, the officer "targeted" you for committing a violation?

    The host probably shouldn't have allowed a party where minors were served alcohol. And the police can certainly interview minors even without their parents.

    Nope.

    The subjective reasoning behind a detention is generally not important so long as there exists an objective, lawful reason (such as blowing a stop sign) for the detention.
     
  5. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    Did you even read the post?

    The OP had NO RIGHT to stay with the minor.

    Which rights do you believe were violated?
     
  6. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    Sorry but this is not true. If the officer told her to leave, she needed to leave. Agree with Proserpina.
     
  7. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    Uh, no. That is incorrect.

    Really? And what "right" would that have been?

    She wasn't contacted for a vehicle violation - the OP (the driver) was. When alcohol was smelled, and there was a minor in the car - likely at or near where the alcohol odor was coming from - then the police have the ability to detain and investigate further. In fact, some case law even indicates they might have a legal obligation to do so.

    And if the cops thought she had been consuming alcohol (based even on breath or odor emanating from her person), and this is against the law in AZ, they could have seized her and taken her into custody. After that they can either have booked her into juvenile hall if that is the procedure there, or, turn her over to her parents (the most likely result).
     
  8. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Hmm...
    I don't see that she had the right to remain with the child, but she was not obligated to leave either. She could have remained with her vehicle just to be present and observe, so long as she wasn't interfering. If the police don't like that they have the option to relocate.

    The minor was under no obligation to submit to any sobriety test and should have refused. She likely did not know any better. Having determined the driver was not intoxicated the police really didn't have any business messing with the minor who was accompanied by a responsible adult. It is not always illegal for minors to consume alcohol. They can't purchase it and they can't consume/possess in public, but there are exceptions when there is parental permission/supervision and not in public. It does seem the police were just using her to fish for information. The OP doesn't say whether the girl was ultimately cited, but if she was it would probably not go far under the circumstances.

    As for the police questioning of the minor, it is important for parents to make sure their children know that they should not ever speak with the police until a parent is present. The police are certainly allowed to do it, so the minor needs to know to keep quiet and that there will not be any negative consequences for doing so.
     
  9. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    Which is what I would have done had the adult been interjecting themselves.

    Without further investigation, there is no way of knowing whether this was a "responsible" adult or someone contributing to the delinquency of the minor if the minor had been consuming alcohol or in possession of it.

    Calling the girl's parents would have probably been the minimum the officer should have done.

    Kind of our job. Find out if she has been drinking, who the adult was, why they were in the adult's car, where they were headed, and do her parents know where she is and that she had been drinking? I don't know about the status of the law in AZ but in CA there have been cases where agencies have been found liable for permitting minors to continue on after having been drinking and something bad happened to them. I never would.
     
  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Okay, you are so far off base, I'm simply going to warn YOU, behave civilly, follow our rules, don't FLAME others, or ......
     
  11. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    More sovereign citizen gobbledygook.
     
  12. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I think ALL mods, admins, and our regular posters support the US Constitution, due process, and the rule of law!
     
  13. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    Huh??

    The question of whether the officer has to allow an adult to stay with a minor is not a Miranda issue. And no one said - certainly not I - that the minor had to admit to what was going on. The issue is the "rights" of the adult the minor is with and whether the minor has a "right" to remain with that adult. The answer is, "no." Even if it had been a parent, the officer could have had the right to detain the minor away from the parent.

    I am not sure where you're getting this Miranda connection from.
     

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