Fifty plus underage drinkers busted in Palm Springs

By Althea Paul - email

PALM SPRINGS, FL (WFLX) - Investigators bust dozens of teens accused of underage drinking. Palm Springs Police say it happened in the parking area right outside a local club.

In total, more then 50 young people under the age of 21 were busted. The operation happened overnight at Club Ibiza along Forest Hill Boulevard.

Police say these teens were drinking underage and/or trying to enter the bar using a fake ID. Some teens were as young as 16.

According to authorities, this all started with a tip from a concerned parent last week about a location where a number of underage teens under 21 were gathering using fake ID's or ID's that belonged to other people to drink. The tip led to the seizing of 35 fake ID's last week. Because of that police set up this bust Thursday night.

Police say they arrested so many young people, they actually ran out of internal forms needed within the first two and a half hours. "It was really a little overwhelming. We didn't realize their was going to be this much of it," said Capt. Mark Hall. "I'm sure the word will get out that we are watching the parking area and will make an arrest if we catch someone under 21 drinking alcohol."

We do want to let you know that although this was happening outside the club, police say, Club Ibiza was not doing anything wrong. That they actually do a good job with not allowing underage people inside and checking ID's.

Those arrested do face misdemeanor charges and could get up to a $500 fine and a year in jail.

Task force officials say parents do need to play a huge role in underage drinking. "Our parents today need to get firm. They need to be clear, and they need to be consistent with their morals, their values and their expectations for their kids," said Lynn Guelzow.

Experts add the age at which teens drink for the first time has raised, but, when they drink, they are drinking more. About 34 percent of high school students are drinking alcohol.