In-Room Alcohol Service
In-Room Alcohol Service
Recently, Channel 9 News collaborated with local police in Gaithersburg, Maryland to alert parents to another way teenagers are managing to drink illegally during prom and graduation. Adults may or may not be aware that teens are renting hotel rooms after prom and other end-of-year events to celebrate, giving them access to alcohol and the ability to party without supervision. It may come as a surprise that in many hotels, underage drinkers can order alcohol from room service with ease.
Channel 9 followed a police sting to 3 hotels where teenagers working for the police department called room service and ordered wine. In one case, they were not carded at all, and in another, a server left the bottle in the room while going to verify that the underage individuals’ IDs were not acceptable. Teens have discovered this loophole and are pooling their money to rent hotel rooms for prom and graduation “after parties”. According to the Channel 9 report, Sgt. Mark White of the Montgomery County Police said, “There can be anywhere from 5 to 10 kids, to 15 to 20 kids” in a single room drinking alcohol they’ve obtained illegally from the hotel.
Alcohol abuse has negative physical and psychological effects on individuals of any age, and the sooner a person starts drinking, the sooner he or she is at risk of developing dependency. Children who start drinking at 16 or 17 might find themselves in need of alcohol rehabilitation before they even finish college if they aren’t careful. Furthermore, hotels who serve minors can face serious repercussions. One of the hotels involved in the Montgomery County Sting has a liquor board hearing in June due to recurring violations and penalties which could include fines and suspensions of the hotel’s liquor license.
It seems like teenagers are constantly coming up with new ways to obtain alcohol, especially during this time of year. It is important that adults stay updated and talk to children about the dangers of DUI, underage drinking and drinking irresponsibly. School guidance counselors, therapists and alcohol rehabilitation centers, such as the ones that Recovery Connection works with, have resources for those who may not be sure how to approach the subject. Also, hotel managers and room service staff need to pay close attention to who they are serving alcohol to, as their customers may be younger than they think.