Charges not filed in bus drinking case

Published 8:30pm Thursday, February 27, 2014

No charges will be filed against two teenage girls who were alleged to have been drinking on an Albert Lea school bus Feb. 11.

Freeborn County Attorney Craig Nelson said he received the case Monday and determined there was evidence to charge. Albert Lea police had not cited the girls, leaving the decision to Nelson, because the situation was unusual.

“We just don’t have a case,” he said.

Preliminary breath tests showed the girls had zero blood-alcohol levels, and the bottles the police found were empty, he said.

He said his office offered an age-appropriate alcohol program to the minors.

The Freeborn County Attorney’s Office regularly prosecutes underage drinking when police give citations and evidence is available, Nelson said.

School officials indicated earlier this month that the matter of having bottles of an alcoholic beverage on a bus was addressed through the school disciplinary system. Alcohol is forbidden on school property and at school-related activities.

“Actions do have their consequences,” said Superintendent Mike Funk.