Beware the Pizza Boy

AP – Delivery People Urged to Rat Out Minors

Police in Portsmouth [NH] hope to enlist pizza delivery people and hotel clerks to help cut into underage drinking and parents who allow it.

Under a new law, it’s illegal for the owner or occupants of a home or hotel room to host a gathering of five or more minors who are drinking or using drugs. Teens as young as 17 who throw a party could be tried as adults.

Portsmouth Police Sergeant Mike Schwartz said the program is called the “Booze Bounty.” He said food delivery people and hotel clerks would receive $50 if their anonymous tips of suspicious activity leads to the arrest of a party host.

As Radley Balko notes, this will have the perverse effect of having teens get drunk somewhere other than a home where responsible adults can watch out for them.

One would think this would also cut down on pizza orders for parties involving drunk teenagers.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. spd rdr says:

    “[T]his will have the perverse effect of having teens get drunk somewhere other than a home where responsible adults can watch out for them.”

    Call me old-fashioned, but “responsible adults” don’t let teens get drunk. Sure, there’s wink when you hand your 18 year old a beer, because the 21 year-old drinking age is a cruel joke (and Ronald Reagan’s legacy, thankyouverymuch), but that’s not the same thing as presiding over a drinking party. Teens will get drunk where and when they can, but it’s not something for a “adult” to condone.

  2. James Joyner says:

    spd rdr,

    Sure. I’m thinking mainly of 16- and 17-year-olds. I could see having a party and letting them have a beer or two.

    The more taboo we make drinking, the more exciting it is for teens. And the more likely they are to get drunk, since they have to get their drinking in when they can. In most other advanced societies, the drinking age is much lower.

  3. Boyd says:

    I strongly agree with you, James. We make drinking into too big of a thing here in the U.S. Like anything else, our kids need to be introduced to alcohol gradually and under our supervision, so they learn to deal with it responsibly. If they happen to slip up and overdo it, we’re there to help them.

  4. Attila Girl says:

    If there isn’t a safe place for kids to experiment with alcohol indoors (with an adult nearby to make sure things don’t get out of hand), the danger is greatly increased of them drinking and driving.

    Is that what we want?