Don't Drink and Facebook

A new billboard sits on the New London Turnpike in Glastonbury for a new police tip line. It's to help curb underage drinking by asking the community to call in.

But that billboard is not the only thing police are using to curb underage drinking. They're also turning to the social networking sites the students are using. 

"In my mind, if we can get word about the possibility, the talk or scuttlebutt on a Wednesday or Thursday about an upcoming party, that's prevention at its best," Geralyn Laut, vice president of the Glastonbury Alcohol and Drug Council said.

The billboard went up one month after a Glastonbury couple got in trouble for allowing their high schooler to have a party that included alcohol.

Pictures of the party, which were posted on Facebook, got the attention of the school, and school officials called police. The parents now face several infractions, police said.

"We will do whatever we have to do, and however we have to do it, within legal means, to keep our kids safe," Glastonbury Police Sgt. Joel White said.

One thing police are doing to crack down on underage drinking is use Facebook. They're looking at pictures and watching posts to see what kids are up to. But not everyone agrees with their methods.

"I do see some things that are inappropriate, not with my Facebook friends, but friends of friends, but I do see (things) that are definitely concerning,"Suzanne Sayers, of West Hartford, said. "But I do think that it could get into some dangerous territory if there is an invasion of privacy." 

"It's your Web page, so anyone can get a hold of it. But, I think, unless there's a huge problem at a party. Police don't have the right to go searching for problems," Kristy Burnett, a senior at Hall High School in West Hartford, said.

Students say they'll be watching what they put up on their pages.

"I think that people need to be more careful about what they post if they don't want to get in trouble," Shaina Kosloff, another Hall senior, said.

Because they've already seen their friends get in trouble over postings on Facebook.

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