Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler waded through a rockin’ teenage party in search of his son and didn’t notice all of the drinking underagers:

Gansler, a Democrat who is running for governor, said this week that he stopped by the Delaware beach house to talk briefly with his teenage son and then left. He said he does not remember whether he saw anyone drinking. But even if he had, Gansler said, it was not his responsibility as a parent or a high-ranking law enforcement official to intervene.

“Assume for purposes of discussion that there was widespread drinking at this party,” Gansler said. “How is that relevant to me? … The question is, do I have any moral authority over other people’s children at beach week in another state? I say no.”

That’s a good point. It’s not as though he is the chief legal officer of the State of Maryland. Except he is. Nor is there an element of hypocrisy here because it’s not like he has made underage drinking one of his issues. Which he did.

This is low-hanging fruit, though. There is a fundamental truth here that underage people will drink and will party if they are invited to them. Should his son have to live in fear because his father is a politician and if his son finds the party it’s bound to get busted up by Johnny Law? In a sense, that’s unfair to the kid. Of course, it also goes to show the problems of things being against the law even when everyone pretty much knows that they are broken on a pretty regular basis. One would also assume that had the police been called, the treatment of the sorts of kids attending a party with the Attorney General’s son might be treated differently than a party attended by rabble.

Back when I was in high school, I attended one of my brothers’ frat parties. I remember some cops coming around beforehand offering their services for security. If you have a cop on sight, apparently you can get an insurance break. “Don’t worry, they said, we are keeping our eyes looking out and not in, unless asked to do otherwise. Which pretty much goes to show the nature of the law as it is in effect.

The only time I ever came close to having to deal with the consequences of such a thing is when I was about 17 or so and at a drinking party of my friend Charlie Langston. There was a cop there who came out of nowhere. Actually, judging from where he was, he had probably been there a while. He was sitting on a deck chair by the pool talking to a female attendee of the party. I am guessing he was acting as apartment security or something and not in his official capacity as a cop. I just remember screaming “Holy $%@#, you’re a cop! What are you doing here?!”

I was, in all likelihood, inebriated at the time. And seventeen.

Fun fact: I held up the left leg of the son of the State Treasurer (at the time) of Deltona while he did one of those keg things.


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8 Responses to Underage Drinking

  1. Sheila Tone says:

    Not fair to the kid? Boo-frackin’-hoo, his daddy’s the AG! That more than makes up for it. I think it’s fair for high-ranking parents to expect their children to avoid illegal situations, if only due to the extra public scrutiny they are under. I would have told my son to leave the party.

    • trumwill says:

      What about illegal situations that are rights of passage for most people? That’s where it gets a bit tricky for me.

      I wasn’t thinking of the pulling of the kid out of the party, though. That’s… probably a good idea. I was referring to the shutting down of the party entirely and the social repercussions against the kid for his dad doing so.

  2. Sheila Tone says:

    He doesn’t get to behave like any other Joe, because he *isn’t* any other Joe. Obama’s daughters will no doubt have their rites of passage sanitized and curtailed. I submit the status of being Presidential daughters will more than make up for the loss of drunken underaged garage parties.

    • trumwill says:

      I wonder what kind of latitude first kids actually get. On the one hand, they have Secret Service following them around everywhere. On the other hand, on the TV shows the Secret Service doesn’t enforce rules like that because it provides a barrier to security (the kids start keeping secrets).

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