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updated: 7/1/2011 11:28 PM

Underage drinking letter off base

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This is a response to Joe McKeown's letter titled "Wrong approach to underage drinking?" published on June 28. I'm afraid that by criticizing the police for cracking down on the crime of underage drinking, Joe is in fact taking the wrong approach toward this very serious issue.

His claim that the police encourage drunken driving by cracking down on underage drunk walkers is completely unfounded and almost laughable. The point that he seems to be missing is that no person under the age of 21 should be drinking, and this should be the concern of parents and hosts of high school graduation parties.

He makes the statement, "Of course, drunk and disorderly pedestrians of any age should be arrested," which sounds promising at first. But he follows that statement with "but 18-year-olds should not be stopped without cause and forced to prove they haven't been drinking."

Is he really suggesting that an experienced policeman cannot recognize a drunk person when he sees one? I certainly do not consider it "unfair" for a policeman to complete his or her job and make sure that the neighborhood is safe. In fact, this claim seems like it would come directly out of the mouth of an arrogant 18 year-old who doesn't want to be caught with alcohol on his breath. If a teenager is sober, he or she should have nothing to hide from the police.

I personally am grateful toward the Naperville Police Department for fulfilling their responsibilities as protectors of this city. Joe's opposition to the upholding of laws really makes me doubt his maturity as a father. Perhaps he is trying to be "cool" and "hip" by taking this rebellious position, but I think that he should be more concerned about his own safety and the safety of his children.

Andrew Merkley