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Kinnelon Underage Drinking Ordinance Introduced

Councilman said borough needs to provide more activities to deter teens from drinking.

With relatively little discussion, the voted Thursday 5-to-1 in favor of the introduction of on underage drinkers found in possession of alcohol on private property. Councilman Jim Freda voted against the introduction of the ordinance.

The ordinance and various versions of it have been discussed by the council over the past year, with on the consequences that should be included in the ordinance. In the version the council introduced Thursday, fines would be imposed on those found guilty of underage drinking, and, under egregious circumstances, a judge could suspend a driver's license. An educational component is also included as a potential penalty.

Resident Carla Mecionis asked the council whether adults who are found to have hosted underage drinking at their private residences could still be penalized under the new ordinance. Borough Attorney Mark Madaio confirmed that the hosting laws would still apply even if the ordinance is enacted.

Councilman Ron Mondello, who also voted in favor of the ordinance, said the hosting laws, as they relate to the ordinance, need to be more thoroughly looked at before the ordinance is adopted. Mondello noted that under the ordinance, if alcohol was left alone in the home and the adult had knowledge of the possibility of an underage person using it, they could be in violation.

"I am not without some concerns," he said.

Creating penalties is not the only thing the borough should be doing to deter its youth from drinking, according to Councilman Andrew SanFilippo.

SanFilippo said he "was lucky enough to grow up in this town," and that he remembers more activities, such as Battle of the Bands, available for teenagers when he was young.

"There were things to do as a community that didn't necessarily circle around drinking," he said.

Referencing a comment Mayor Bob Collins made earlier in the meeting about the borough working to possibly develop a community center, SanFilippo said he would like to see such a center offer activities for the borough's youth, as well as other populations in the borough.

"I feel that the underage drinking in this town is starting to alarm me," he said. "I feel that we need to, as a group, we need to come up with something for the kids to do."

The council will be holding a public hearing on the ordinance before voting on its adoption at the May 17 meeting at 8 p.m. at the Kinnelon Municipal Building.

Peter Bruschi April 23, 2012 at 01:20 PM
So apparently councilman Freda is the only one who thinks it's the parents responsibility to bring up their kids...I am very disappointed with a couple of members votes
FORTHEKIDSOFKINNELON April 23, 2012 at 02:42 PM
What do you expect? The majority are incapable of doing the right thing here. SF is on the right track.Kudos to Freda This ordinance is a secondary offence. That is a load of political bull. The boro is very selective on enforcement of it's ordinances. Our previous mayor protected the good ole boys all the time, Now out of the blue they are going to use a violation previously selectively enforced to enter a persons private property? I can not wait for the first lawsuit against the boro. The council wants to feel like they did something so they can wipe their hands of this growing problem This law solves nothing. The boro needs activities for all to enjoy beyond sports. We have school buildings available and a boro hall that is like a ghost town and meeting rooms on the library. Why can't we organize a true community center with activities and a safe place for our children to go all year round? The boro can charge a fee to participate and cover the cost.
Craig Storms April 23, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Did you know it is NOT Illegal to drink at 18 ? Not Federal nor State..... in NJ adult citizens under the age of 21 can drink alcohol on Private Property with Parents Consent .... Most States in U.S. Permit Drinking Under the Age of 21 (the "Legal" Drinking Age) http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/YouthIssues/Most-States-in-US-Permit-Drinking-Under-the-Age-of-21.html This listing of non-prohibition states indicates the conditions under which alcohol consumption is legal by persons under the age of 21. New Jersey - 2,3,4,5,6 .... 2 = On private non-alcohol-selling premises with parental consent.... Key 1 = On alcohol-selling premises with parental consent 2 = On private non-alcohol-selling premises with parental consent 3 = On private non-alcohol-selling premises without need of parental consent 4 = For religious purposes 5 = For medical purposes 6 = For educational purposes 7 = For governmental purposes 8 = For good Samaritan purposes (reporting alcohol-related medical emergencies of other persons) So Bookmark this link and tell the Power hungry control freaks ...To stick there're little Ordinance where it belongs .
Small town girl April 23, 2012 at 04:06 PM
This ordinance does not put an end to underage drinking, it just gives the town more power over it's residence. I thought this was to protect our children. All this ordinance is going to do, is push these kids to go else where to drink like neighboring towns, and into the woods. So, now these kids are going to be drinking and driving on highways and roads that they are not familiar with or in the woods where one of them could get hurt or lost. There has to be better way. Like SanFilippo, I also grew up in town and there was more activities back then for the kids, and there was also police officers who cared about the kids, they wanted to protect them not so much arrest them. If they thought your kids were doing wrong or going down the wrong road, they would come talk to you, stop the problem before it happens. Together we can help the kids, all this does is put everyone at odds. Thank you Jim Freda.
Peter Bruschi April 23, 2012 at 05:49 PM
I grew up in kinnelon too so i know exactly what you are talking about
laidbackluke April 23, 2012 at 08:30 PM
This town is run by a bunch of idiots and Freda is the only one with enough brains to realize this stupid ordinance is a big load of bull and will not stop kids from drinking. All this ordinance does is just put more control in the hands of the power hungry police and give them something to do besides just pull people over for speeding because that's all they're ever good for. This ordinance is just going to push kids to find ways to drink even more knowing that this ridiculous thing was put into place. An educational component? A fine? Please tell me what fine or educational component is really going to stop a kid from drinking. Even under some circumstance a license does get suspended, you're telling me that the kid is going to stop drinking? This is even more of a reason for a kid to drink knowing he or she will never have to drive. Come on and open your eyes, you are all oblivious and need to realize this ordinance will not solve ONE single problem in the town.
RINO April 24, 2012 at 11:40 AM
I voted for republicans not democrats! That's what those that support this measure are "democrats" everyone should remember that next time at the polls.
M. Justicel April 25, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Mr. Storms, You are correct but it does not include the friends of the underage person who show up for a party at the house or specific location. The serving parent does not take on the responsibility for other underage drinkers on top of their own child. Please understand the facts!
M. Justicel April 25, 2012 at 11:03 AM
Obviously there are numerous who don't do a good enough job!
M. Justicel April 25, 2012 at 11:15 AM
The kids are already doing what you are talking about! Drinking in the woods and driving all over. The enactment of a town ordinance won't stop what is already going on. To say it makes matters more dangerous is ridiculous. To also believe police officers don't care or want to protect the kids is also another ludicrous comment!
Peter Bruschi April 25, 2012 at 11:39 AM
The way I read this the parent does not have to be present...all you need is permission
M. Justicel April 25, 2012 at 11:42 AM
You sound as if you have a negative history with police officers. I have never had to call the police for anything, but I can assure you they are needed, and not only for stopping people speeding. You are right, kids will drink no matter what. Laws and ordinances are needed for a reason. People don't speed or steal because they are trying to beat the system. Your comment about kids never having to drive again is nonsense. Every kid doesn't want to drive so they will get in trouble on purpose?
tax whipped April 25, 2012 at 01:26 PM
All this talk and energy about this ordinance. The Ktown heirarchy does what it wants without the oblivious tax payers noticing. This whole thing is just for "show" and will be passed whether the citizens object or not. Here is something the Ktown folk should be objecting to-raising taxes above the cap right under your noses! How come we don't hear anything about this?! http://www.kinnelonboro.org/documents/Ordinance%208-12%20Cap%20Bank%20Introduction.pdf
Craig Storms April 25, 2012 at 07:07 PM
I think I am understanding the facts M. Justicel, Could it be you reading more into it then what is presented ? If I give my child "Consent" to be at a private non-alcohol-selling premises that is not my own, how does that not comply with what is given here ?
Broke from taxes April 25, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Tax whipped is on the money. They use these tactics to distract us while taking money from our wallets. Good catch whipped!
M. Justicel April 26, 2012 at 11:24 AM
Everyone should take a deep breath and have someone proof read what they post. A lawsuit against the Borough? How about the family that is sued because their child died from alcohol consumption in their house where the party was hosted. The devastation of an alcohol related car accident with teenagers dead or paralyzed. The family of five involved in the accident? What about them? We only worry about these things after they happen! Before the tragedy, we attack everyone trying to prevent it. Cheap shots at the Borough and the police for doing their job. If nothing was ever done to address the problem and this ordinance was just a thought, you would blame the Borough and police for not doing anything. Talk to a parent or family who has been affected by underage drinking. Maybe you will change your tune!
For real justice April 26, 2012 at 12:45 PM
M justice you speak like a retired police officer on the council. Tell me how this law will stop what you describe? It won't. There are already laws on the books to discourage this behavior. They obviously do not work. We need fresh ideas. If laws like this worked then our jails would be empty. We need something for our children to do in a safe environment. Creating opportunities to change behavior do work. Go interview a few students that have gotten caught and ask them what would have helped them make a better choice and you will realize this law does nothing to solve the problem. Btw how many days has our chief who doesn't live in town actually spend in our community?
M. Justicel April 27, 2012 at 07:17 PM
For Real Justice, No, I do not speak like a retired police officer on the council! I don't claim that any law stops or prevents crime! If you read my comments to what others have said, you would have noted that I do not believe the ordinance will stop underage drinking. No law past, present, or future deters anyone from doing what they want. What exactly is the real injustice? Is it stopping the underdeveloped minds and bodies of teens from consuming alcohol? Possibly stopping them from getting in a car after a party where irresponsible parents allowed the underage drinking to take place and preventing the car wreck that killed or injured me or my family on the road? Please explain? I find it difficult understanding what your title "For Real Justice" means! Believe this, I speak from experience! I have a teenager. An extremely responsible one. Why is that? I'm a responsible parent and involved with everything he does. Both my wife and I can pat ourselves on the back for the way he was brought up and I have no problem pronouncing it. Here is a fresh idea, make parents more responsible! Lastly, exactly what is a teenager going to say that will change anything? Are you serious? Grown adults need the opinions of children, and yes that is what they are, to change the way things are done? Life doesn't work that way and never will. I listened to what my Father told me to do, and my son will listen to what I tell him to do! That's the way life is!
I'mKindOfABigDeal May 05, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Frankly, teenagers are going to drink no matter what. And if we look back to Alcohol Prohibition in 1920, you'll find that more people drank purely for the sake of it being illegal. When the riots ended and the amendment was anulled, the rate of drinking went slightly down because it was legal again. These kids are drinking and smoking because they want to feel cool. Everyone else does it, so why shouldn't they? They just want to have fun. If drinking ages went down to 18, less people would drink; or at least drink a lot like teenagers do Kinnelon kids enjoy drinking until they black out. Lowering the drinking age would solve problems. Don't get me wrong because I know that it won't end every problem, but it might help. Deuces.
CP July 05, 2012 at 03:27 PM
why is it that with all the taxes we pay- we cant have a place for these teens to go and "hang out" in a safe environment? It could save the life of our children and others! These kids are bored and when bored- mischief happens.

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