‘By Show of Hands, Who’s Been Drinking Tonight?’
God bless the Highland Park Department of Public Safety. While the Dallas and University Park police departments fill out convoluted forms that we have to decipher when compiling our crime blotters, the Highland Park cops write a narrative about almost every incident. Here’s the most entertaining one from this week’s batch.
Just after 1 a.m. Sunday, the DPS received a call about people arguing in the 4600 block of North Versailles Avenue. When officers arrived, they saw several teenagers run toward a particular house’s side yard. But they were able to detain two of them in the front yard.
Both smelled of alcohol, but they insisted they hadn’t been drinking. One of them identified herself as a resident of the house in question. She said she and some other partygoers had gone outside to try to prevent a friend of theirs from driving drunk. They said this friend had taken a swing at someone at the party. Moments later, a truck drove by, and both teens said it belonged to the friend who they’d been trying to stop. One of the officers pursued the truck, while the other stuck around to sort out the party.
That officer asked a dispatcher to call the homeowners and ask them to step outside. The parents of the hostess said they knew their daughter had some friends over, but they didn’t know about any fight, nor were they aware of any underage drinking. The officer asked the adults to have all of the teenagers come outside.
Soon, this officer was addressing the 17-year-old hostess, three other 17-year-olds, and 11 18-year-olds. He asked them if anyone had been drinking, and he warned them that a test would determine whether each of them had been drinking before they would be released to their parents. All of them slowly raised their hands. “Because all guests were admitting to consuming alcohol at the party, I determined that additional testing was unnecessary,” the officer wrote. “As each guest spoke to me, I confirmed the presence of the smell of alcohol on their breath.” Each teen was issued a “consumption by minor” citation, except for the hostess, because her parents were in the home when she drank. But her mother received a “fail to supervise a child (alcohol)” citation.
Meanwhile, the other officer pulled over the aforementioned truck just around the corner, in the 4900 block of Westside Drive. The 18-year-old driver “was unsteady in his walk, swaying while he was standing, his eyes were blood shot, and his speech was slurred,” according to the incident report. As if all of that and the “strong odor of alcohol” on his breath weren’t incriminating enough, the officer found a can of Keystone Light and a bottle of Jack Daniel’s in the front seat. The teen was charged with minor DUI and minor in possession of alcohol. He was then released to his father, who drove to the scene after being contacted by the DPS. Betcha that ride home was real fun.