Eight Clarkstown teenagers ranging in age from 14 to 17, who were kicked off a party bus because of their behavior, face alcohol-related charges in New Jersey after they were pulled over on the Palisades Interstate Parkway in a jam-packed car that was spotted moving erratically, according to police.
Palisades Interstate Parkway Police said the teens took to the road in hopes of reaching a party boat on Long Island after a high school dance event Saturday night. However, police said the 17-year-old driver from New City was found to be impaired by alcohol and his seven passengers had all been drinking.
All eight now have a date in Bergen County, NJ, Family Court.
Clarkstown school officials also said on Tuesday they are investigating reports of drinking by students following Clarkstown South's Junior Ball on Saturday and before they boarded a party bus.
Palisades Interstate Parkway Police Lt. Michael J. Coppola said Police Officer Gregory Kimbro Jr. was heading south on the parkway at about 1:55 a.m. Sunday when he spotted a silver 2002 Ford Taurus occupied by numerous people swerve over lane markings on the parkway. Kimbro stopped the car in the Alpine, NJ, section of the parkway near the Exit 4 interchange.
Coppola said that as Kimbro approached the Taurus he spotted eight juveniles in the car. When a passenger opened a window, Kimbro reported he was struck with an overwhelming odor of alcohol.
As Kimbro began removing the teens from the Taurus he found one of them was curled up on the front floor of the car, under the dashboard, partially asleep.
Once out of the vehicle, Kimbro began interviewing the teens and learned they were coming from a high school dance event and they had been forced off of a party bus due to their conduct — and they were in the Taurus trying to get to a party boat on Long Island.
Coppola said Police Officer Jeffrey Kimbro conducted field sobriety exams on the driver and determined that he was impaired due to alcohol. The driver was arrested and the remaining seven teens were also arrested for under-aged alcohol consumption.
The driver later tested to have .06% blood alcohol content, which is .05% above the legal limit for a juvenile in New Jersey, according to police..
In addition to the 17-year-old driver from New City, charged were:
A 17-year-old boy from New City
Two 16-year-old boys from New City
A 15-year-old girl from New City
Two 15-year-old girls from West Nyack
A 14-year-old girl from New City
Police said they did not release the names of the eight teens because of their ages. All were released to family members.
Clarkstown police said they had information that a party bus left from Palisades Center mall in West Nyack on Saturday, however, the bus driver apparently returned to the mall because he refused to carry some of the passengers due to their conditions. But Clarkstown police also said they have no detailed information about the trip or how it was organized.
Clarkstown police said they have not received any complaints related to the party bus as of Tuesday afternoon.
The problems after the Junior Ball comes on the heels of a similar incident in October 2011 following Clarkstown North's Homecoming. Reports of students drinking alcohol and getting ill prompted school officials and police to reach out to parents, and led to increased scrutiny of the next homecoming event, for Clarkstown South High School.