Wayne District Court 32-1-29 in Delaware County is located smack dab in the middle of Radnor Township and serves as host to scores of kids from Villanova University, Cabrini College, Eastern College, and Archbishop Carroll High School, who have received citations or tickets for Underage Drinking and/or Minors in Possession of Alcohol within the boundaries of its jurisdiction. There are so many of these kids that the Court long ago found a way to deal with the glut of young adults who have had an unlawful brush with alcohol. The Delaware County Task Force.
I was there today and here is the latest incarnation of the process that has been in place there for years. When a kid is charged with an alcohol related charge (18 Pa.C.S.A. 6308) he will walk into court and be greeted by Kathy Supplee of the Delaware County Task Force. Ms. Suplee, with the Honorable John C. Tuten seated behind her, will then explain to the young man or woman this: IF they complete 32 hours of community service (which is a lot by the way) and 12 hours of alcohol awareness classes, by a specified date, then the Court will dismiss your ticket and there will be no conviction or loss of driving privileges. The “Task Force” is the name given to Ms. Supplee’s entity that is reponsible for fanning these kids out all over Delaware County to clean roads, churches, police stations, schools, etc. as well as putting them in a school room to educate them a bit on the potential evils of alcohol use and abuse. And in exchange – the dispensing of their case by the Court as if it never happened.
If have been a Pa. underage drinking lawyer for many years and the latest program used by this particular Court is by far the best they have ever had. It shows compassion and empathy for first time offending kids who have made mistakes while at the same time providing that they give back to the community in exchange for a favorable resolution of their case. Parents should be mindful that a conviction for underage drinking carries with it a mandatory 90 day suspension by PennDot of their child’s Pa. driving privileges, which is skirted upon their successful completion of the program. As a Pa. drivers license lawyer, I can tell you that this is one of the thorniest issues that I deal with in my PennDot practice and one that can result in a lot of angry parents.