A dozen adult teenagers and six juveniles were arrested over the weekend at the Union City pool. Police claim that a Union City resident called authorities to report that people appeared to be coming and going from the indoor pool during the late night and early morning hours Saturday night into Sunday morning. Law enforcement responded and officers claim that the facility was filled with a large group of teens. Police say that some people left the building through back doors when police arrived.
Union City authorities believe that an 18-year-old Union City teen was working Saturday night as a lifeguard. Police claim that the teen closed the facility and locked up around 11:00 Saturday night. However, police accuse the teen of leaving a side door unlocked. Police believe he invited other teens to drop by the pool for an after-hours swim.
Law enforcement says that officers found two bottles of hard liquor at the pool, but police do not believe that any of the teenagers were intoxicated. Nonetheless, a dozen teens, aged 18- and 19-years-old and six juveniles reportedly are facing underage possession or consumption of alcohol charges. Additionally, police accuse the 18 people of criminal trespass, despite the alleged invitation to join the party from the lifeguard. The Union City Police Chief says that the lifeguard was fired due to the allegations.
One juvenile, a 17-year-old male, was also charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, according to The Jersey Journal.
Underage alcohol offenses in New Jersey may seem fairly common. However, an underage drinking or minor in possession charge can still carry significant consequences in both the juvenile and adult court systems.
Generally, juveniles and adult teens charged with underage alcohol or trespassing offenses in New Jersey have the right to defend against the charges, whether brought as delinquency proceedings in family court, or in the adult court system.
Source: The Jersey Journal, "Union City charges 18 teens with trespassing after midnight booze party at city pool," Michaelangelo Conte, Feb. 22, 2013