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27 Young People Charged With Underage Drinking in N.H.

Lyme — Police cited 21 men and women between the ages of 17 and 20 for underage drinking on Saturday at Dartmouth Skiway and another six people on Thursday for drinking underage in the Ray School parking lot.

Lyme police officer Anthony Swett was doing his regular patrol around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday when he noticed about 20 cars parked at the Dartmouth Skiway, which was closed at the time. Swett found several alcohol containers next to one of the vehicles and saw a male exit the woods and flee upon seeing Swett.

Swett soon called for assistance from the Hanover, Lebanon and Canaan police departments and the New Hampshire State Police, and one officer responded from each department.

The case is still under investigation, but prosecutor Christopher O’Connor said the party appeared to be occurring in a wooded area and the young men and women might have rented out a nearby Dartmouth College-owned cabin for the party.

Two males were medically examined, but neither were transported to the hospital. All 21 men and women were processed at the Skiway’s lodge and issued citations for unlawful possession of an alcoholic beverage by a minor, which is just a violation, not a misdemeanor, and comes with a maximum fine of $1,000 if convicted. They were all given court dates of Aug. 11 in Lebanon District Court. O’Connor said he doesn’t expect any additional charges to be filed.

All 21 young men and women were released by their parents, who were called to the scene. O’Connor said they were all from local towns.

O’Connor said he will have to review the officers’ reports once the investigation is complete and determine if all the charges will go forward based on the strength of the evidence.

O’Connor said he would not be releasing names because of the ongoing investigation.

Police also cited six 16- and 17-year-olds with unlawful possession and intoxication and littering after they were found Thursday drinking in the parking lot of the Ray School on Reservoir Road. Four others, who were all 17, were taking into protective custody. When police arrived, six of the young people fled from the scene while four stayed. A K9 was called to help track down the people who had fled and to search a wooded area, Hanover Chief Charlie Dennis said, adding that the K9 was used to account for everyone and ensure no one was injured. They were eventually located at a nearby residence, he said.

No one was injured, Dennis said, and the case is still under investigation.

Sarah Brubeck can be reached at sbrubeck@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.