NORTH ANDOVER – For the second time this month, North Andover parents are being charged with illegally allowing underage drinking in their homes and on their property, police said today.
The latest arrest was made Friday night when Ronald H. and Susan S. Smits were charged with keeping a disorderly house after some 40 underage teenagers were found consuming beer and liquor in their Blue Ridge Road home, police said.
"There were over 40 underage youths that had been drinking at a party at this address,'' North Andover Detective Daniel Cronin said by telephone today. "And the owners of the home were present and aware of the party.''
In a separate interview, North Andover Police Lieutenant Paul Gallagher said officers arrested another parent on April 3 for running a disorderly house for allegedly allowing underage drinking to occur in their home.
"This is the wrong lesson to send to our youth,'' Gallagher said.
The details of the April 3 arrest weren't immediately available.
In all during the month of April, Gallagher said police have broken up three underage drinking parties. The third took place on April 18, but there was no sign that an adult was aware of the event, Gallagher said.
In the latest cast, Cronin said officers arrived at 11:17 p.m. after receiving "numerous complaints of underage drinking'' at the Smits home on a quiet side street that was choked with cars belonging to the partygoers.
Cronin said an unknown number of teens ran when police arrived. Even still, he said, police spoke with about 40 of them and collected identifying information. He said the majority at the party were 17 years old or younger.
He said many of the teens were intoxicated. "We don't believe any needed medical treatment as a result of this,'' he said.
He said there were several trash cans filled with empty beer bottles and cans, several 30 packs of beer that had been opened and refilled with empty beer cans, and there were at least a dozen bottles of hard liquor.
"There was a lot of alcohol present at this party,'' he said.
He said one issue still under investigation is whether the Smitses supplied the alcohol themselves. The couple told police "they had everything under control.''
Ronald and Susan Smits will be charged with keeping a disorderly house and one count of furnishing alcohol to a minor, he said. They are scheduled to be arraigned in Lawrence District Court on Tuesday, officials said.
Cronin said parents of the teens stopped by police have been notified that they were at a party where alcohol was served. He said police will forward a list of North Andover students to the school department.
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