Dad Gets Pinned for Teens Drinking in House for No Reason

beerDid you ever know one of those kids whose parents let them drink -- as long as it was at home? I did. The parents figured the kids would be drinking anyway. Better have them drinking under their own noses than out where they could get into trouble. That may be what was going on in Menlo Park, California, when Stanford professor Bill Burnett was arrested for allowing his teenage son and friends drink alcohol at a party he hosted.

But Bill and his wife Cynthia are saying they have no knowledge of their underaged son and his friends drinking. And the police have no proof yet. What if the parents did everything right?


Bill says he and his wife were supervising the party. "We put really clear rules in place and we were patrolling the party," he said on the Today show. "My wife and I were both at the house. We were upstairs. The kids were downstairs in the basement. So we were there the whole time. I went through the party a couple times. I brought chocolate chip cookies. I was about to bring them brownies when the police came."

Well that sounds like a pretty tame party. Apparently the kids were just quietly watching movies or chatting in the basement, right? And maybe everyone just had a flask under their shirts and that's why mom and dad never noticed the drinking. Maybe they have a don't ask don't tell policy with parties. Except ... why did the police come? I don't think it was for the Burnetts' brownies.

The police showed up because the party was SO ROWDY, the neighbors called -- rowdy as in loud music and loud teenagers. You can accomplish both without the use of alcohol, of course, but what really happened? The police allege that the kids looked like they were under the influence. But they didn't make the teens take breathalizer tests and they didn't actually witness the teens drinking.

So did the Burnetts just let the teens get too loud? Could they have done anything different? Should they have just said no to a party? It seems like they're in an impossible situation. I sure wouldn't want to be responsible for 40 drinking teenagers -- but then, I'm not sure I'd want to be responsible for 40 teenagers, period.

Do you think the teens were drinking? And do you think it's all right for parents to allow their teens to drink if it's under their own roof?

Image via Thomas Backa/Flickr

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