Deputies look to bust rowdy spring breakers - WFLA News Channel 8

Deputies look to bust rowdy spring breakers

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Spring break kicks off for many Bay area students Friday, and deputies are trying to keep them safe by adopting a zero tolerance policy on illegal behavior.

"They absolutely need to think before they drink," said Corporal Scott Sitton, of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's DUI patrol.

Starting Friday night, deputies will be targeting convenience stores and bars, making sure alcohol isn't sold to minors. DUI patrols will also be looking to nab drunk drivers, while other deputies will be patrolling for rowdy house parties to crash.

"What I want parents to know is know where your kids are, know who they're with and what they're doing because too many tragedies can result if you don't," said Sitton.

Deputies tell us they won't be handing out many warnings this spring break.

"If they're committing a criminal offense now, they are charged appropriately. We don't necessarily like having to do that, it seems that's the only way we can get our message out that it is not safe for a young person to consume alcohol," said Sitton.

Parents and other adults caught contributing to underage drinking by hosting house parties or buying beer, also face trouble.

"They could be charged criminally with open house party, which is a misdemeanor charge, but more seriously, they could be sued under their homeowners insurance," said Sitton. "In certain circumstances, they could be charged with child abuse or child neglect."

The extra patrols will be out every night during spring break. Sitton said the overtime pay will be covered under a Florida Department of Transportation grant designed to keep Hillsborough County roads safe.

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