Teens sentenced for concert drinking | AspenTimes.com

Teens sentenced for concert drinking

Charles AgarThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN Five area youths pleaded guilty on Tuesday to underage drinking charges following a recent concert in Snowmass Village. Matthew David Terral, 18, of Aspen, 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 didnt enjoy it and its not going to happen again, said one 16-year-old who claimed hed 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 dont 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 theyd done, and their parents had a chance to say a few words. I definitely shouldnt have been drinking, said Terral, who was stopped by officers who allege they saw him leaning on his girlfriend and stumbling. Terral, however, lied to police and tried to use a false ID belonging to his brother who died in a car accident at age 17 in 2005, according to police reports. And police said that Terral became argumentative and aggressive during the incident. I just didnt want to get in trouble, I guess, Terral told the judge. 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 wasnt 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 way.cagar@aspentimes.com

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