UPDATE (1/10/2013): Please note the update at the end of this post concerning the dismissal of the charge in this case.

This is going to go down as one of those “partners behaving badly” stories, but I don’t think it should. Underage drinking is a problem because kids don’t know how to handle alcohol and they drink too much and die. Or they drink too much and then do something stupid and die. Dead teenagers are not a good thing.

Many people think the solution is to somehow “ban” teenage drinking. Note that currently people under 21 aren’t allowed to buy alcohol. Note also that teens almost always still find a way to drink.

Instead of only focusing on ways to prevent teens from drinking, can’t we also at least think about ways to allow teens to drink in a safe environment? I think every high school should have at least one “cool” parent. One parent whose house you can go over to and have a couple of beers without everybody freaking out. Then, if you get too drunk or stupid or whatever, the “cool” parent can drive you home, or keep an eye on you, or tell the attending physician exactly how much you had to drink before you lapsed into a pansy-boy “alcohol poisoning” coma.

So yeah, to the rest of society, this Biglaw partner has been accused of something really bad. To me, he’s just been accused of providing a vital public service….

KMOV St. Louis reports that Husch Blackwell partner Robert Tomaso was arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor last Saturday:

Police said officers showed up to Tomaso’s home on Colonial Hills Drive on Saturday after a neighbor called complaining of loud music.

According to reports, officers were on the scene for several hours and found dozens of underage males and females intoxicated.

Tomaso was taken into custody, but released after posting bond.

First of all, I hope there is a special place in hell reserved for neighbors who complain about parties they are not invited to. Buy some earplugs, Jesus.

There were allegedly 100 or more minors at the party where “dozens” might have been intoxicated. “Males and females”! Oh noes!

We don’t know all the details about the Tomaso situation, so I’ll just talk about me. In my high school, we had a parent that used to let kids come over to his sprawling estate (ahh… private school), bought us kegs, and generally let us do whatever we wanted, so long as we left the keys with him. Good times. Yes, I know that’s highly illegal, but good freaking times. And how much better is it to learn your drinking limits when there is an adult on hand instead of when you are in college and the only person looking after you is… well me, cause I can hold my liquor, and enjoyed messing with the lightweight freshmen who didn’t know what they were doing.

So, sure, judge Tomaso’s alleged actions harshly if you must. But uptight parents should understand that their kids are going to drink — many of them while they are still in high school. They can do it in the relative safety of an adult’s home, or they can go into the woods somewhere, have some beers, and then figure out how the hell they’re going to get home without “getting busted.”

UPDATE (1/10/2013): After hearing of a similar story in another jurisdiction, we reached out to Bob Tomaso to find out about the disposition of the charge against him. He informed us: “The charge, which stemmed from my daughter’s high school graduation party, was dismissed.”

Homeowner charged after 100 minors found at Creve Coeur party, some intoxicated [KMOV.tv]


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