Teens sentenced for concert drinking
ASPEN Five area youths pleaded guilty on Tuesday to underage drinking charges following a recent concert in Snowmass Village. An 18-year-old Aspen man was the only legal adult in a group of five kids from Aspen and Basalt high schools who police reportedly caught drinking at the Stephen Marley concert in Snowmass in early June. The show was part of the Chili Pepper & Brew Fest on Fanny Hill. In court in Aspen, Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely sentenced each of the five first-time offenders to a one-year deferred sentence on their minor in possession charges pending compliance with Youth Zone, a nonprofit designed to help kids in trouble. Each of the teenagers, four whose names are withheld because they are younger than 18, cannot drink for a year and must each complete 24 hours of community service. I didn’t enjoy it and its not going to happen again, said one 16-year-old who claimed he’d had 10 shots of vodka at the event. Police reported they responded to the scene and found that the 16-year-old could barely stand, and said he later blew a 0.15 blood-alcohol content on a portable breathalyzer. It is something that we are looking out for, said Snowmass Police Chief Art Smythe. Its important that our music events don’t get a reputation as a place to go for young people to drink alcohol. Snowmass officials work closely with school resource officers from the Pitkin County Sheriffs Office, and Smythe said looking out for underage drinking always has had a high priority at local events. Each of the five kids charged on Tuesday expressed remorse for what they’d done, and their parents had a chance to say a few words. Parents of some of the minors were worried that police interviewed their children and administered a breathalyzer test before the kids had a chance to call their parents. A father of one of the kids characterized the series of arrests as a witch hunt that was inappropriately handled by police. And, another defendant, who blew a low reading on the breathalyzer, reportedly was insulting and argumentative during the arrest, telling police that she was from a good Aspen family and deserved special treatment because she wasn’t doing drugs like everyone else does. Deputy District Attorney Richard Nedlin said the girls statement indicated she believed she was somehow above the law. The girl, however, said that while she was sorry for what she did, Pitkin County deputies had ill-treated her and made off-whack remarks. Judge Ely reminded the girl that police and sheriffs deputies are the ultimate authority in such matters and that Yes, sir goes a long email@example.com
Editor’s note: This story was amended in February 2021 to remove the name of the 18-year-old.
Roaring Fork District schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt are heading into the new school year more fully staffed than in recent years.
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