NEW: Chafee’s Son Charged Under Social Host Law
Friday, August 17, 2012
After an investigation by the Rhode Island State Police and a review by the Office of Attorney General into the events that occurred on the Chafee property in Exeter on May 28, 2012, Caleb Chafee, 18, today was issued a summons to appear before Washington County District Court on August 22, 2012, charged with one count of violating the state’s social host law.
After a young woman was seen vomiting after drinking too much on his family’s property, Chafee’s son reportedly encouraged his friends to leave the party and then call 911 for the girl.
The report indicated that between 10 and 15 young people, many of whom had graduated from Portsmouth Abbey the day before, attended the party and drank cans of Bud Light and raspberry vodka near the pool area of the Chafee’s home. An empty bottle of wine was also found at the home.
The girl became intoxicated at the party and Caleb asked the group to leave
Later that night, the State Police arrived at the Chafee’s residence in Warwick, where they explained to the Governor and Mrs. Chafee that they were investigating an underage drinking incident at their Warwick home. Mrs. Chafee asked to record any conversation between an officer and Caleb. Family lawyer Peter DiBiase then encouraged Caleb to exercise his Fifth Amendment rights.
UPDATE: Governor Chafee released the following statement:
"Underage drinking is a major problem in Rhode Island and across the country.
"With that in mind, the so-called “social host” law has been broadly designed to prevent such unfortunate incidents from occurring and to protect the young people of our state.
"Throughout this process, Stephanie and I have taken this matter seriously and have been concerned and disappointed by the details of the event in question, as any parents would be.
"Caleb will accept responsibility for his actions and, in addition to any legal consequences that result, we will continue to deal with this matter as a family. It is our hope that this event, however regrettable, has provided an opportunity for a dialogue about the dangerous and potentially harmful effects of underage drinking. Hopefully many parents took this occasion to speak with their children about this important topic."
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