About a week ago, I told you about Operation Party Safe, a D.C.-area anti-alcohol initiative that's targeting parents who serve alcohol at post-prom parties, even those that are supervised. Dumb idea.
As it turns out you don't have to even need to be serving alcohol to get your party busted. Nor do you have to actually break the law:
Anna Phelan and Emily Adams wanted to end their four years at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School with a memorable backyard graduation party.
There was a blues band, a moon bounce, a popcorn machine and a pit for making s'mores. Guests feasted on hot dogs, hamburgers and bratwurst. There was plenty of ginger ale, cranberry juice and root beer to go around. What there wasn't plenty of was alcohol.
"It was pretty low-key, and it was just sweet," Margaret Engel Adams, Emily's mother, said of the party for about 80 friends and relatives. "It was just pretty much out of Norman Rockwell."
All that changed about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Adams said, when a Montgomery County police officer knocked on the Phelans' door, in the 4600 block of Rosedale Avenue in Bethesda, to say that someone had complained about the noise. The officer then asked Anna's mother, Kathy Phelan, if he and several other officers could give breath tests to the teenagers. She refused.
So police stationed patrol cars at each end of her street, six in all, and began giving the tests to guests as they left the party, she said. None of the teenagers tested positive for alcohol, she said.
Officers then began ticketing vehicles parked outside the Phelans' house, she said, including ones that belonged to neighbors who weren't at her party. Some vehicles were ticketed for a wheel improperly touching a curb or for extending into a driveway. Emily Adams, 18, received a $35 parking ticket; her Honda Odyssey minivan was parked directly in front of the Phelans' home.
Pass enough laws, and a pissed-off cop can find something you've done wrong.