BONNEY LAKE — Police arrested 24 men and women between the ages of 18 and 21 for underage drinking at a large surprise birthday party in Bonney Lake.
According to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, neighbors in the 8400 block of Locust Avenue called police to complain April 6 about the loud noise coming from a young renter’s home. Plain-clothes officers in the area arrived at the party to find a large gathering of young men and women, many of whom appeared intoxicated.
Paramedics discovered one young woman drunk and unconscious on a floor and took her to a local hospital. And the “birthday boy” said Thursday he’s not surprised his party was cut short.
“I mean, I want to say they (police) kind of tricked us, but we all had it coming, I think,” said Todd Milburn, referring to his surprise 20th birthday party. “Of course, I had a lot of fun. A lot of my friends were there; we all went down together, but (it was) a big eye-opener.”
It was a big-eye opener and a big bust. The Pierce County sheriff’s ‘Party Intervention Patrol’ arrested 24 young men and women for underage alcohol possession.
The woman found passed out in a bathroom was taken to the hospital for alcohol poisoning.
“She was drinking a little heavier than other people,” Milburn said. “I didn’t know about it until the paramedics showed up and found her in the bathroom. I was like, whoa!”
Neighbor George Brown was surprised to hear the underage party was just across the street — and wonders if the drinkers know how serious the arrests are.
“That’s unfortunate and I think whoever was involved in that felt pretty badly,” Brown said. “Younger people, sometimes it take a little while to figure out that (drinking) can get very serious.”
The county Party Intervention Patrol targets underage drinkers – and springtime is off to a busy start.
But for Milburn, he says his drinking days are over.
“I wish my neighbors would have talked to me first,” Milburn said. “But, I mean, every kid wants to have fun. But you don’t have to drink to have fun. I’m probably not going to drink anymore because I don’t want to ruin my life.”
Police said even a charge of “a minor in possession of alcohol” can follow young people for years, putting college grants in jeopardy.