The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

May 20, 2013

Secluded field parties on the rise in Garfield County

Underage partiers in secluded areas should think twice before breaking the law.

Garfield County Sheriff Jerry Niles said his office has seen a recent surge in “field parties” out in the county, and authorities are on the lookout for these spur-of-the-moment events disseminated on social media.

“We’re asking property owners and residents if they see a large number of vehicles traveling into secluded areas to please call us as quickly as possible,” Niles said. “Kids get injured in fights and motor vehicle accidents. We get complaints from farmers about trash, broken gates, damage to fields and crops from people driving in them, and scared livestock.”

The problem actually is twofold: teens organizing parties in secluded areas in the county, and parents hosting parties and providing alcohol to underage kids.

We have increased problems with people violating social hosting laws by providing alcohol to minors. Niles said adults caught doing this will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Anyone spotting a suspected field party or with knowledge of a social host party should immediately contact law enforcement.

“Please contact the sheriff’s office, Enid Police Department or your local law enforcement agency,” Niles said. “If they see something out in the county and aren’t sure of our number, they can dial *55 to reach the highway patrol and they can patch the call to us.”

Garfield County Sheriff’s Office can be reached by calling (580) 237-0244 and Enid Police Department can be reached by calling (580) 242-7000.

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