"It's 10 p.m., do you know where your kids are?"
There were 45 parents who answered a surprised 'no' to that question on Monday night after police busted an underage drinking party on Wildhorse Ridge in Pocatello. Police cited 15 of the 45 teens at the party for underage consumption of alcohol.
The situation might seem like another case of 'kids being kids,' but on Tuesday, police warned parents that getting busted carries heavy consequences for their kids, and potentially the parents themselves.
Pressbox Sports Bar and Grill Manager Chase Gallegos said he's seeing fewer underage kids trying to do the same thing with fake IDs.
"And if we get them, then we just take their IDs away from them to make sure they can't use them again," Gallegos said.
So teens may not be trying to drink at the bar, but it might mean they're just trying to drink more at home, and with as many friends as possible. Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen said this is the biggest party he's seen in a while.
"I would bet that even this person could not identify everyone that was there, which is also a problem," he said.
The mom of the teen who threw this giant party didn't know it was happening until the cops called her, Nielsen said. If a drunk driver would have left the party and gotten into an accident, the parents at the house could be held accountable, whether they knew about the party or not, he said.
Police breathalyzed every person at the party, but weren't able to catch all of the partygoers. One student hid under a bed, and ran from the house because he was scared he would lose his college scholarship if he got caught, Nielsen said. There will be a warrant out for his arrest if he does not turn himself in by Friday, he said.
"Him running and eluding is going to just add more charges to that, and yeah, he probably will lose his scholarship," Nielsen said.
The responsibility here is on parents, he said.
"I know kids are going to hate hearing this from the sheriff, but they're not smart enough yet," Nielsen said.
Nielsen said he's hoping that parents are enforcing consequences for all of the kids at that party.