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Darien Mom Charged After Police Break Up Underage Drinking Party

Darien Police charged a mother after breaking up an underage drinking party.
Darien Police charged a mother after breaking up an underage drinking party. Photo Credit: Contributed

DARIEN, Conn. -- A Darien woman was charged after police found several teens at an underage drinking party at her home last week, according to police.

Police were dispatched to a home on Mansfield Avenue at around 10:30 p.m. the night of Tuesday, June 27 on reports of an underage drinking party that came in through the department's anonymous tip program. When officers arrived, they could hear loud music coming form a home, and several taxis pulling up in front.

When officers pulled into the driveway, five teens were seen running away, and two more attempted to walk away down Mansfield Avenue, police said. The two were told to return the home, and police could see they were intoxicated, according to police. One of them almost fell and the other had no shoes, police said.

Their speech was slurred and they had bloodshot eyes, and were told to have a parent come to the scene, police said. Both said they didn't know whose house it was, but eventually identified it as the McLaren residence, according to police.

Police spoke to the homeowner, 50-year-old Debra McLaren, who told the officers that she had thrown an 18th birthday party for her daughter, which started at 6 p.m. She said it began with 20 juveniles, but "friends of friends" began arriving. She told the officers that she was unaware of any alcohol being consumed until about 9:30 p.m., at which point she told everyone that the party was over, police said.

When questioned again later, McLaren said she became aware of alcohol at the party at 10:30 p.m., at which point she ended it, police said. She told the officers that she had told the kids to take Ubers home, and that she had been home throughout the gathering and had gone outside to the party several times.

When asked how the alcohol could have been transported to the home, since none of the attendees had driven, McLaren said several people had been dropped off, and she didn't know how the alcohol had gotten to the house. Officers noted that based on the level of intoxication, the youths had been drinking for an extended period of time. When asked about this, police said that McLaren told officers, "I could really use a break."

Officers saw various types of alcohol on the patio, and a beer pong setup on a table. Garbage cans also contained empty containers, police said.

When asked if there were any additional attendees in the house, McLaren said there were not. Police said that officers walked through the house to make sure there were no incapacitated teens, and found five additional girls in bedrooms. McLaren told the officers that all the kids were running and she wasn't sure who went where, according to police.

Police determined that the teen whose birthday it was and lived in the residence had been one of the ones who ran when officers arrived, according to police.

Police said that the officers determined that McLaren did know, or should have known, that the teens were drinking alcohol at her home. She was issued a misdemeanor summons for failure to halt the possession of liquor by a minor, and released on a promise to appear in court on July 10.

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