The Flower Mound PD must have known I was short on blog material while at the RD conference. Thanks guys.
What happened? From DMN-
Last month, a Flower Mound man called police because he thought a group of teens were drinking at a neighbor’s house. He knew the woman who lived there was out of town, and her 17-year-old son wasn’t supposed to have friends in the house while she was gone.
When police arrived, the teen wouldn’t open the door. So Flower Mound police came back, armed with a search warrant giving them authority to force their way into the house.
“The children wouldn’t open the door even after we got a search warrant,” Flower Mound Lt. Clay Pierce said. “So we got the fire department to use tools to spread open the door jamb.”
First off, probable cause to enter a residence can’t be based solely on the non cooperation of the residents. FM PD needed some articulable facts of criminal activity, which the author doesn’t mention in this story. Maybe, I’ll open records the warrant and post it.
Second, is the threat of a 17 year old drinking at a private residence so great we have to get a warrant and break the door down? For new readers, this is the part where I post the town’s crime stats to highlight the waste of police resources. However, when I checked FM PD’s April crime stats they only had 6 cases that were listed as active, the rest were cleared in some manner. Maybe FM PD does have enough free time to get a warrant and raid a teen party. Kudos.
Third, haven’t we learned enough about the failures of abstinence only education? When did we decide that a teenager’s perfect alcohol virginity must be protected at all costs? And that the police should raid houses to forward the cause of teen temperance? Maybe, just maybe, we should consider a fresh approach.
We encourage irresponsible and clandestine drinking operations by forbidding all young adult use. I don’t know what the perfect system is, but a better system would be one that promoted responsible use and lowered the age at which an adult can legally consume alcohol.
The current system fails for the same reasons other abstinence programs fail. We aren’t teaching children anything when we tell them to just say no. We only perpetuate juvenility when we forbid young adults the freedom and opportunity to learn how to make adult decisions.
Anyone who has been to Europe can attest that a legal drinking age under 21 does not destroy society. Unfortunately, in America our state governments traded their right to make these decisions for federal highway cash.
Finally, the cliche (but still appropriate) appeal against the immense hypocrisy of our drinking laws- at 18 you can be tried as an adult, join the army, vote, sign a lease, buy a car, buy a house, work in a strip club, smoke cigarrettes, but still these young adults are too immature to purchase or consume alcohol.
Send in the SWAT team.