Prom patrol busts underage-drinking party
A deputy on prom patrol got wind of a party at a rural residence in the early morning hours of Sunday, April 27, according to a report released Tuesday.
The party apparently was associated with the Parkview High School prom, said the department’s Cmdr. Troy Knudson.
Seventeen people, ages 17-19, were arrested after registering positive on a breath analyzer.
Nine others at the house at 11346 S. Merlet Road, Beloit, had not been drinking, the deputies determined.
The sheriff’s department announced two weeks ago that it would use grant money to put extra deputies on the road to be on the lookout for underage drinking connected to high school proms.
At the Merlet Road party, those arrested registered blood-alcohol levels of 0.01 percent to 0.09 percent.
Knudson said it appears the homeowner cooperated with the investigation, giving deputies access to the partygoers.
“All of the subjects were lectured and released to a sober, responsible party,” the report states.
A copy of the incident report was sent to Parkview High School.
Arrested later on a charge of procuring alcohol for minors was Zachary R. Knutson, 23, of 1823 N. Pontiac Drive, Janesville. Knutson is a son of the homeowner, according to the report.
More prom patrols are planned on upcoming weekends. At least two extra deputies are assigned to the area of each school having a prom.
Knudson said he had heard very little about prom-related incidents, and he hopes that’s because word has gotten out that the department has targeted prom-related behaviors.
“Hopefully, parents and kids are getting the message,” Knudson said.