Dear Parents of North Kingstown
Once your child becomes a teenager, they will want to be come more independent. They will want more control of their lives both home and away. They could even ask to be left home alone while you are away and then the “Parent & Police Consent to Search Form” may be helpful to you. It has been our experience that most underage drinking parties occur within the home while the parents are not home.
Too many times teenagers left alone may call a few friends over for company, which may result in uninvited guests, many whom may not be from this Town. These unwanted persons could bring alcohol or drugs into your home. With today’s advance cell phone technology, text messages, internet chat websites; it is very easy to notify dozens of youths in a short time frame that there is an unsupervised party.
The Parent & Police Consent to Search Form and conditions can be found on the Police Department’s web site or at the police station. Complete the form and sign it with the specific dates that you will not be home. Our officers will make every attempt to patrol your neighborhood looking for evidence of underage drinking activity. If the officer observes illegal underage drinking activity based on his or her reasonable suspicion probable cause, they will stop to investigate. Reasonable suspicion or probable cause can be described basically as evidence that any reasonable person views to be related to underage drinking activity such as: loud party music, several vehicles parked in the driveway or near the home, viewing teenagers drinking or carrying alcohol into the home, beer cans on the property or any party related activity.
Officers will approach your residence, knock on the door, and ask to speak with your teenager. Officers will then explain their belief that an underage drinking party may be going on within your residence and enter the home to look for underage drinking activity. At no time will our officers use force to enter you home.
The goal for this program is to (1) give our officers information where young teenagers will be left unsupervised and who may be tempted to have drinking parties and (2) it provides the parents with an instrument that may keep a teenager in check from such peer temptations and (3) give parent a sense of relief that the Police are looking out for your child and home while you are away.
I hope this program will be a helpful for you and your child to ensure they will be safe while being left alone at home as well as to give extra support to your rules while you are away.
Click here to see the CONSENT FORM and ATTACHMENT A
Click here to see the Rhode Island General Law 3-8-11.1 "Furnishing alcohol for underage persons"