Friday, May 18, 2012
5-to-1 vote brings new alcohol beverage statute to borough.
The Kinnelon Council adopted a controversial ordinance Thursday that would allow police to charge underage individuals found in possession of or drinking on private property. The ordinance that was voted on Thursday was introduced last month and was a modified version of the ordinance the council has been considering for the past year. Under the new ordinance, "Persons under the legal age who knowingly possess or knowingly consume an alcoholic beverage on private property shall be punished by a fine of $250 for a first offense and $350 for any subsequent offense.” Previously, all alcohol-related matters for persons under age 21 were handled at the county level. Now, ages 18, 19 and, 20 will be handled locally. Individuals charged with the …
Monday, April 23, 2012
Councilman said borough needs to provide more activities to deter teens from drinking.
With relatively little discussion, the Kinnelon Council voted Thursday 5-to-1 in favor of the introduction of an ordinance that would impose penalties 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 a committee formed in January to make recommendations 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 …
Monday, April 16, 2012
Kinnelon Council will vote to introduce ordinance on Thursday.
More than a year has gone by since the Kinnelon Council heard from police Chief John Finkle about why he felt the borough needed an ordinance to be able to charge underage drinkers on private property. Next week, the council is expected to vote on the introduction of an ordinance that would allow a judge to impose fines and revoke a driver's license temporarily under egregious circumstances if the underage individual is found guilty of the charge. Mayor Bob Collins said he felt the council should move forward quickly on the ordinance. "We're coming up on graduation," he said. "Timeliness is, I think, an issue here." At Thursday's borough council meeting, Borough Attorney Mark Madaio sought guidance from the council on which way he should …
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Lieutenant said some parents seem to have grown more accepting of underage alcohol use.
As the Kinnelon Police Department awaits the decision next month of the Kinnelon Council on whether to enact an ordinance that would allow police to charge underage individuals found with alcohol on private property, Police Chief John Finkle said he wants residents to be aware of what is happening at parties in the borough and how parenting should not stop when kids become teenagers. At last week's council meeting, Finkle told council members, members of Kinnelon's Underage Drinking Ordinance Advisory Committee and members of the public that there are parties every weekend in the borough and the youth are not just drinking, but also experimenting with drugs, getting medically injured and, at times, sexually assaulting other residents. …
Friday, March 9, 2012
Advisory committee presents recommendations to council.
After Kinnelon's Underage Drinking Ordinance Advisory Comittee presented to the Kinnelon Council Thursday a watered-down version of the ordinance they originally considered that would allow police to charge underage individuals found drinking on private property, Kinnelon Police Chief John Finkle shared his passion for the cause. "I'm looking at the kids that are on the fence that this gives them the crutch that says 'No, I don't want to drink,'" Finkle said. According to Finkle, the police department has information that underage residents are partying every weekend and not only experimenting with alcohol, but cocaine and heroin as well. Additionally, Finkle said a number of sex crimes have been reported as a result of the parties. The …
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Allegedly under the influence of alcohol, 17-year-old then crashed vehicle into a tree.
A member of Kinnelon’s Underage Drinking Ordinance Advisory Committee is accused of providing alcohol to a 17-year-old male who drove his vehicle into a tree in Fayson Lakes after being under the influence of alcohol, police said Monday. Mark Gaw, 55, was charged after an investigation by Det. Sgt. David Crouthamel and the 17-year-old male was charged with a disorderly persons offense, DWI, underage possession/consumption of alcohol and issued several motor vehicle violations. Police said the accident occurred around midnight and when Ptl. Christopher Mucci responded, the male was allegedly determined to be under the influence of alcohol and was arrested. Police said Gaw was arrested after an investigation in which police allegedly …
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Committee members agree that underage drinking should be a secondary violation.
The Kinnelon Underage Drinking Ordinance Advisory Committee is planning to recommend that the borough council does pass an ordinance that would allow police to charge underage drinkers on private property, but with a few changes. The biggest changes the committee would like to see are for underage drinking on private property to be considered a secondary violation and for the possibility of loss of a driver's license as a penalty to be removed. By making it a secondary violation, committee member Nick Zichello said, police would need another reason, in addition to the drinking, to enter private property, such as violation of a noise ordinance. "The law, itself, is not controversial. It's how the law is applied that seems to be where the …
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Some feel underage ordinance violates property owners' rights.
Since Kinnelon's Underage Drinking Ordinance Advisory Committee began meeting this month, Committee Member Lila Helu has repeated her opinion that she feels the ordinance, which would allow police to arrest and charge underage individuals found drinking on private property, may infringe upon a property owner's rights. But when asked why she feels that way, Helu has not been specific, stating only that she feels that when a police officer has the ability to enter a person's property even with probable cause, that right has been abolished. Kinnelon Police Lt. John Schwartz has told Helu and other committee members that police already have the right to enter property with probable cause, but not without it. The ordinance, he said, would not …
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Kinnelon school officials and borough underage drinking committee discuss needed measures.
Less than 10 percent of the students who are sanctioned by the Kinnelon school district's substance abuse penalties are referred to the program by police, according to Superintendent Jim Opiekun. Opiekun shared this information, and detailed the intervention measures the district takes to ensure safety of students who may be abusing drugs or alcohol, with the borough's Underage Drinking Ordinance Advisory Committee Monday. The citizen committee is tasked with making recommendations on an ordinance the borough is considering that would allow police to charge underage individuals found drinking or in possession of alcohol on private property. Kinnelon High School Principal Dr. Wayne Merckling accompanied Opiekun as the school district …
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Mountain Lakes police chief said underage drinking incidents have gone down since enacting local ordinance.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
- Gerard Longo
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Kinnelon Underage Drinking Ordinance Advisory Committee met again on Monday night, continuing its discussions about a potential ordinance that could change the way police are able to deal with underage drinking on private property. The committee is currently in talks with other municipalities who have adopted similar ordinances to see how the response has been within the community, as well as how local police units have handled enforcing the new law in those municipalities. If enacted, the law would impose penalties, including a fine and possible suspension of a drivers license, for those who are underage and are found drinking or in possession of alchol on private property. Currently, penalties are imposed for underage drinking on public …