12 young people cited for alcohol possession

State police say they are cracking down on underage drinking

May 01, 2001

Twelve young people received citations for alcohol possession after police responded to a tip about party plans at a New Windsor home where the parents were to be away for the weekend, authorities said yesterday.

After receiving the anonymous complaint, Maryland State Police staked out the residence in the 900 block of Murphy Court on Saturday evening.

They filed charges of alcohol possession against eight females and four males, seven of them ages 16 and 17, and five ages 18 to 20. A citation for underage possession is punishable by fines up to $500 for a first offense and up to $1,000 for a subsequent offense. The parents were not charged.

The action was part of a state police initiative to enforce laws against underage drinking, called RAAM for Reducing Availability of Alcohol to Minors. The program began in Carroll in April last year, with $3,000 from the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, and $9,000 from the Carroll County commissioners.

State troopers, town police officers and sheriff's deputies work together on the project, said Lt. Terry L. Katz, commander at the state police barracks in Westminster, who credited RAAM with helping to reduce the number of fatal traffic accidents in Carroll.

"What occurs with this is, many times information starts to circulate in the community that there's going to be a party, and certainly we respond to this because we know somebody has to drive to get there," Katz said.

"In 2000, there was not a youth under the age of 21 [in Carroll County] who died in a motor vehicle accident who had alcohol in their system," Katz said. "In 1999 ... there were at least three."

In a second incident during the weekend, state troopers working undercover for the RAAM project at a Melrose-area liquor store said they saw two men acting suspiciously in a car in the parking lot. Malcolm Shane Duncan, 30, of the 200 block of Embelton Road, Owings Mills, was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

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