7 charged with underage drinking

Seven people were charged with underage drinking after Rock Hill police crashed a party Friday night and found cases of beer, multiple bottles of liquor and a keg inside the house, officials said.

Around 10 p.m., police received an anonymous tip about a party at 2169 Potpourri Point in the Wedgewood subdivision in Rock Hill.

"As the officer pulled up, kids started running into the woods," said Sgt. Brent Allmon of the Rock Hill Police Department.

The following were arrested and charged with possession of beer by someone younger than 21, according to reports from the Rock Hill Police Department:

• Steven Paul Winn, 17, of the home;

• Daniel Joseph Lyons, 20, of 121 Brookwood Lane;

• Zachary Davis Jackson, 20, of 4242 Honeysuckle Road;

• Cory West Varnadore, 18, of 505 Meadowbrook Lane; and

• Stephanie Marlene Powell, 20, of 504 Pate Drive in Fort Mill.

Also, a 16-year-old Rock Hill male was cited for alcohol and drug use, while a 16-year-old Tega Cay male was cited for alcohol use, the report states. All were released by 5 p.m. Saturday.

As people fled the house, one person crawled onto the roof, the report states.

Police found several cases of beer, liquor and a keg in the home, according to the reports. Authorities said multiple cases of beer were found in at least two closets.

"We are unsure how the underage drinkers obtained the alcohol," Allmon said.

Jackson, Powell, Varnadore, Winn and two others also were located inside the house. Lyons, who police say had been at the party earlier and had been drinking, drove up as officers worked with the other youths, the report states.

Allmon said no adult of legal drinking age was at the home during the incident; however, the homeowner was notified, according to the report.

"They were out of town," Allmon said.

Possession of beer by someone under 21 carries a fine of $255, he said.

The arrests come as the statewide "Sober or Slammer" campaign, which started Friday and will run through Sept. 3, tries to deter underage drinking and driving under the influence, Allmon said.

"With the upcoming school year, we will step up enforcement efforts geared toward underage drinkers via compliance checks with local businesses," he said.

Earlier this summer, Gov. Mark Sanford signed an amended law making it illegal for those younger than 21 to attempt to consume alcohol.

Under the revamped law, first-time offenders will lose their driver's licenses for 120 days, must attend a state-approved alcohol intervention program for at least eight hours and pay court fines.

On Jan. 1, clerks will be required to register kegs of 5 gallons or more as customers buy them.

Also on Jan. 1, repeat adult violators will be required to equip their cars with an interlock device similar to a breathalyzer at their expense. They must blow on the device before starting their car.

Until then, Allmon offered a warning to underage drinkers.

"We will have additional officers working during peak times to combat underage drinking and driving under the influence," he said.