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  1. #1
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    It about time people that buy beer for underaged kids get some time!



    Man who bought beer for teens gets nine months

    By Julie Manganis

    Staff writer


    PEABODY - Two months ago an Ipswich District Court judge said he'd give David Helm the maximum sentence -- a year in jail -- for buying malt liquor for three teenage girls who were later involved in a fatal accident in Ipswich.

    So Helm, 27, changed his mind about pleading guilty that day. He and his lawyer asked for a jury trial, and his case was sent to Peabody District Court.

    Yesterday, Helm - facing a different judge in a different court - tried again. This time he got a better deal -- nine months of jail time, to be served at the same time as a six-month sentence he's already serving for violating his probation in an earlier case.

    It's half what he was facing in Ipswich, where a judge wanted to give him back-to-back terms, or a total of 18 months in jail, for violating his probation and for buying four, 40-ounce bottles of King Cobra malt liquor for 19-year-old Michelle Sullivan of Beverly on the night of Nov. 5.

    Sullivan told police she gave Helm $10 to buy the malt liquor, which is similar to beer but has a higher alcohol content. Later that evening, as she allegedly sped along Linebrook Road, her car veered out of control and crashed into a utility pole, killing 17-year-old Lisa Sparaco of Ipswich. A third teen, Nicole Pechillis, 18, of Beverly, escaped injury.

    Sullivan was recently indicted on manslaughter and vehicular homicide charges and is awaiting trial.

    Helm, of 80 Central St., Ipswich, was arrested on a warrant two days later and charged with providing alcohol to a minor, as well as with possession of a class E controlled substance, a tablet of Trazodone, an anti-depressant for which he did not have a prescription.

    Court officials also charged him with violating the terms of his probation in a malicious destruction case in which Helm damaged his girlfriend's car during an argument last summer.

    In January, Helm and lawyer John Bjorlie agreed to admit that Helm's new arrest for buying the teens the beer was a violation of his probation, and accepted a sentence of six months in jail.

    But they could not convince Judge Allen Swan to impose a concurrent six-month jail term for the new offense, a sentence that would have effectively meant no additional jail time for Helm because of the new charges. Swan was instead planning to send Helm to jail for a total of 18 months -- six months for the probation violation, followed by another 12 months for buying the beer for the girls.

    So they withdrew the plea and went to Peabody District Court.

    Yesterday, Assistant District Attorney Cesar Archilla tried to convince Judge James O'Leary to impose a year of actual jail time for Helm, to be served after his probation violation sentence, noting the consequences of his decision to buy beer for the girls.

    Under the terms of O'Leary's sentence, Helm, who also got credit for the 93 days he's been held on bail, could be out of jail by this summer. He will still have another three months of jail time hanging over his head if he violates his probation.

    O'Leary was familiar with the case, having presided over Sullivan's trial last December on drunken-driving charges stemming from an earlier drunken-driving arrest in Hamilton. It was O'Leary who decided against jail time for the Beverly teen, instead placing her on probation while she awaits trial in the second, fatal drunken-driving case.

    Helm is still facing trial on charges of domestic assault and battery and is set to stand trial next month on those charges.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.


  2. #2
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    Don't you just love the flaming liberal judges we have in Massachusetts? Hardly punish a guy and then they wonder why they see them back in court. Ugh. I hate this state.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

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    There would be no drinking problem if the drinking age were lower. And we also wouldnt have rediculous court cases like this tieing up our court systems.
    Firefighter/EMT Mitch Cowen
    Hose Co. 1 1st Lieutenant
    Randolph Fire Co. Inc

  4. #4
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    There would be no drinking problem if the drinking age were lower.
    I disagree. How many car accidents involoving intoxicated teenagers have you gone where you had to pry them out of the car? I have gone to way too many in the past 7 years. I think there will be more incidents and a higher rate of alcoholism adn binge drinking with teenagers if the age was reduced.

    We do not need intoxicated 18 year olds buying for 16 and 17 year old friends so they can go to school intoxicated. There are already enough pressures and problems with being a teenager that we do nto need to bring more into paly.

    And we also wouldnt have rediculous court cases like this tieing up our court systems.
    A rediculous court case? This guy bought the large amounts of alcohol involved in the deaths of a teenage girl in violation of the law. He knew it was illegal. He now has to accept the consequences of his cognizant decion to purchase alcohol for underage people. I do not call this rediculous.

    killing 17-year-old Lisa Sparaco of Ipswich
    I appologize to referring to her as a teenage girl. She has a name.


    Am I saying that these girls did not have a part to play in the incident - certainly not. They have about as much culpability here as this dirtbag does, and should be punished as well.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

    www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

  5. #5
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    And we also wouldnt have rediculous court cases like this tieing up our court systems.
    #5
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    There would be no drinking problem if the drinking age were lower.
    I'd love to hear the reasoing behind this BS. Do you really believe kids only drink because it's against the law?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  7. #7
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bones42
    I'd love to hear the reasoing behind this BS. Do you really believe kids only drink because it's against the law?
    Its the same mindless logic used by drug users. Just leagalize and let the goverment buy us clean needles like in Amsterdam and all the problems will magicly go away.

    Lets get rid of that pointless FIRE act and get the ALCOHOL and HEROIN acts going.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    Its actually a rather simple logic... would it take time for the transition to a lower drinking age? Yes it would, and sadly many would die, as they do now because of it. But I am a strong believer that in the end, it would save more lives, than those lost in the transition.

    Look at the foreign countries for example that have no drinking age. Do they have alcoholics? I am sure they do, but is drinking such a big problem with the populations, and especially teens? No. Why I am sure you want to know. When we have a drinking age there is actually a prestige about alcohol. About how its for the older people and stuff like that. But the truth is, in my opinion of course, is that if you lower the drinking age, it wont be as prestigous. Where now in my town theres a party you can goto atleast 3 times a week. But if drinking were legal, and you could do it more socially, it wouldnt be required. Thats all I am saying is that with a drinking age we are putting this prestigue around alcohol. And if you abolish it, that prestige, there wont be a big deal about being able to get it. Because it can be just more fluent, and socialable, and they wouldnt have to hide.

    If you had a glass of beer or wine with your dinner every night from say 15 and up, by the time you got into high school, it wouldnt be a big deal of having to go out to parties and getting drunk. Because its something that could be done more public, and more leasurly. I hope that some of you that are capable of thinking out of the box can understand what I am saying. We currently have a foreign exchange student here from Germany, and she said that drinking is not the problem it is here, because its not so special. You dont have to go out to drink... its actually very logical. If you show the responsibility with alcohol from a young age, and show it to be a more family oriented procedure, when you do get to that age, its not something that you will have a sudden urge to do.
    Firefighter/EMT Mitch Cowen
    Hose Co. 1 1st Lieutenant
    Randolph Fire Co. Inc

  9. #9
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Interesting thoughts. Not agreeing with them, but interesting. The youth that I deal with really don't drink because of "prestige", they drink because they want to get drunk. They like the feeling (although not the next day). They like to give girls drinks becuase they feel they have a "better chance", not for prestige. Girls like to drink because they feel "more relaxed" and lose some of their self consciousness (sp?), not "prestige". I have found very few who drink because it makes them cool, that happens more with the other drug users. You mention the 1 exchange student from Germany, I have had over 15 stay with me from many different countries. Drinking is more socially accepted in their countries. I know many of them had been drinking wine/beer since very early in their youth. US kids don't go out and drink wine, they drink rum, vodka, whiskey, etc. The US kids don't stop with a glass of wine at dinner, they drink til they are drunk. Little different story there. Did you also know that a lot of European countries have lower BAC levels for driving? France is .04, US is anywhere from .08 to .10

    Again, interesting thoughts.

    stm, you should let him post his thoughts before you disregard them...then again, with all your life experience...
    Last edited by Bones42; 03-11-2004 at 04:35 PM.
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  10. #10
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    There would be no drinking problem if the drinking age were lower.
    Interesting
    WHAT!?!?!?!?!

    I'm so glad that it's not lower than 21 b/c if I had to see more children die b/c their parents thought is was nice that they went out every Friday and never cam back till Sunday morning; I'd lock myself in a closet.

    Let me see if I remember the whole thing here, when you mix teenagers that can drive at 16; with the alcohol you think they should have access to without restriction.

    Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep. Station 179. Vehicle Accident, Roosevelt Highway-Mile Marker 110, State Police on scene stating-Heavy Entrapment-Time 1:34.

    I get out of bed, hoping that I can climb back in with out having to have been in a dept-wide CISD, a funeral home loading ramp, some freaked out family's living room, and get back in bed before noon the next day; and actually be able to think about just sleep.

    Go to the house, get in the ambulance; and drive fifteen miles into the mountains which are like Pennsylvania's Suburbs. Rural kids, just out to "relieve some stress off their so difficult lives".

    Pull up to the scene, just a few state police cars, some flares; no bystanders. And some object resting in the trees, in a bad condition, metal twisted so horrifically that you wouldn't know the difference between that and a tin can. And the police tell you that in that mess is a 17 y/o boy. Police had pulled him over, he was drunk. They were going to just take him home, forget about it. But he sped off, reaching speeds close to 120 mph. If it weren't for that curve, he'd have been home free. Well, maybe home, but now he's in much more trouble. The biggest feat of his life, not answering to a judge in court; unless that's what you call, God in heaven...

    Because I stuck my arm in this tiny hole that was once a window, and felt around, I found his arm; no movement. I holler, can you hear me; squeeze my hand. Nothing, I pulled my arm out, but I wasn't satisfied with that, I searched around for someway to get to this young man. I crawled in the rear window w/ my flashlight, and I felt for his pulse; he had none. I listened to for his heart beat; he had none, I listened and felt for him to take a breath. It never happened. I crawled, and gave my partner the common head shake that we've became accustomed to when checking the patient. And the state police brought me a set of torn up bunker gear and a crushed helmet from the road side and said, you guys are1-7-9 arenít ya? I didn't have to look again, I couldn't recognize the victim. He was using his safety belt; but his seat was crushed. He had to be extricated, pretty extensive job on the hands of the rescue crew headed by our chief. Only thought in my mind was, how would I keep them away until they could be told? The chiefís son, the ambulance captains son, the captainís brother; one of the best young EMT's I've ever met in my whole life; was the victim. I'd thought we'd taught our explorerís better ways to handle lifeís downs. Why alcohol and a vehicle were like oil and water; not a good mix.

    And this isn't one of those cheesy stories you see on the net to cause the "tear jerk", this happened two years ago. This is why I'm a very strong advocate against underage drinking. It is my opinion, the age should be moved up to 25 for legal consumption of alcohol. As well as, rising the diving age to 18... I didn't drive till I was 18, my parents forbid it; also probably a sense of me being scared that I would be in one of the tragic accidents I'd seen; as I achieved my EMT Cert when I was 16. I think that those of us in Fire & EMS who have seen our family and friends in these situations have a stronger belief than those who haven't. The people who think it won't happen to someone they know, itís just a matter of time.

    When we have fatal accidents, we transport the victim to a funeral home; where the coroner decides what happens from there.

    I've taken two of my family members from their vehicles; three of the greatest people I ever knew; and sixteen kids I went to high school with to those funeral homes. I'd like that this never happen again, but if people think the way this man does; it will happen more and more. Why can't everyone see it from this point of view?
    Last edited by historyjunkie; 03-11-2004 at 05:38 PM.

  11. #11
    Forum Member Lewiston2FF's Avatar
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    Now here is a question regarding lowering the drinking age, as put to me by a high ranking police official at my college (when I was there).

    If you were to lower the drinking age to say 17, or 18, do you think you would see nearly as many young adults with alcohol poisoning? The reasoning behind lowering it is, many of the alcohol poisoning cases that I have had the pleasure of taking care of were from underage individuals getting a case or 2 of beer or other alcohol and taking back to their room/house/etc. and consuming it rapidly so they don't get caught. (the logic behind this rapid consumption amazes me) After consuming the alcohol they get rid of the "evidence" and then proceed to become extreemly intoxicated, sometimes to the point of alcohol poisoning.
    Would this eliminate the problem all together? I doubt it, would it reduce the problem, I think it might. But Bones you present some good arguements too.
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    Remeber this: Kids want what they can't have!!!!!!!!! And they don't usually know how to handle something they have never had!

    I am only 21, I have been drinking beer at home since I was about 16, when I got to college or even when I went out when I was in high school there was no need to get totally smashed. Although there have been those times.

    But there is a certain group that I don't understand. Here at college getting alcohol is just as easy as going to the store to buy a book. So after a while you think kids would get used to drinking and learn when to stop. But there is that group for example my room mate from last year, he drank 5 days a week. and every time they got completely smashed. I guess some people just don't learn.

    However I don't think that the drinking age should be lowered, the only place safe place kids can learn is in the home. Personally I would rather have a child drunk at home (not that I'm promoting that) than a drunk child out driving around with their stupid friends.

  13. #13
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Default Hmm

    If you are old enough to vote, fight fires, serve your country and die doing so, why can't you legally order a beer?
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    It is the same concept as with guns; you teach your kids at home to have respect for a weapon, and the damage it can do when used wrong, and the good it can bring when used correctly. Its all about the respect. I believe, if America really wanted to, we could teach our kids (not that I have any)to have a level of respect for alcohol, so that when we are put out there, it has been deeply instilled what is wrong, and right. As with other things. I have had firearms since the age of 10. I have been tought a respect for a firearm, and thus dont abuse it.

    If you sat at home, and drank a beer with your child at the age of 15 per say, and elimnate the animosity of what it is at a young age, I feel as it would definately help the drinking problem. If you teach your children how to properly use something, you wont have a problem with them abusing it down the road. I think it can go for everything, as long as it is tought.

    firefiftyfive said it right "Kids want what they can't have!!!!!!!!! And they don't usually know how to handle something they have never had!"

    Give it to them young, give it to them with their parents, and respect. And give it to them legally, it would be a lot better in the long wrong.
    Firefighter/EMT Mitch Cowen
    Hose Co. 1 1st Lieutenant
    Randolph Fire Co. Inc

  15. #15
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Originally posted by rfcmitch
    Its actually a rather simple logic... would it take time for the transition to a lower drinking age? Yes it would, and sadly many would die, as they do now because of it. But I am a strong believer that in the end, it would save more lives, than those lost in the transition.

    Look at the foreign countries for example that have no drinking age. Do they have alcoholics? I am sure they do, but is drinking such a big problem with the populations, and especially teens? No. Why I am sure you want to know. When we have a drinking age there is actually a prestige about alcohol. About how its for the older people and stuff like that. But the truth is, in my opinion of course, is that if you lower the drinking age, it wont be as prestigous. Where now in my town theres a party you can goto atleast 3 times a week. But if drinking were legal, and you could do it more socially, it wouldnt be required. Thats all I am saying is that with a drinking age we are putting this prestigue around alcohol. And if you abolish it, that prestige, there wont be a big deal about being able to get it. Because it can be just more fluent, and socialable, and they wouldnt have to hide.

    If you had a glass of beer or wine with your dinner every night from say 15 and up, by the time you got into high school, it wouldnt be a big deal of having to go out to parties and getting drunk. Because its something that could be done more public, and more leasurly. I hope that some of you that are capable of thinking out of the box can understand what I am saying. We currently have a foreign exchange student here from Germany, and she said that drinking is not the problem it is here, because its not so special. You dont have to go out to drink... its actually very logical. If you show the responsibility with alcohol from a young age, and show it to be a more family oriented procedure, when you do get to that age, its not something that you will have a sudden urge to do.
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    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    CDEVOE IS BACK
    Nah, definitely a different attitude than CDevoe ever had.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber mohican's Avatar
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    The drinking age should be 18

    or

    they should change it so that there is no income tax, selective service, etc until you are 21. I believe that the drinking age on military bases is still 18. They realize if you are old enough to kill someone for your country, your old enough to go have a beer afterward.

    Lets set the Mad statistics aside. Have you as Firefighters, EMTs, First Responders, etc noticed a decrease in teen fatalities because of raised drinking ages?

    I've seen more under 21 drinking fatalities in my area this year than ever before. So much for the law being a deterent.

    ---------------------------------------------------
    Driving while impared, whether alcohol or other drugs, or angry or sleep deprived is wrong. People who drink and drive should be punished when caught, whether its an 18 year old just off work from the quickie mart or the 50 something judge.

    The answer is not the lower drinking age, it's personal responsibility.

  18. #18
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    They realize if you are old enough to kill someone for your country, your old enough to go have a beer afterward.
    I see statements like this fairly often and really can't believe people honestly think this way. When you are in the military, can you just go down the street and kill someone? Don't you need something like orders or to be defending yourself? I see a really big difference in the amount of control over a soldier vs an 18 year old walking down the street. In the military, most soldiers spend very little time killing someone. I really find that to be a bad comparison/reason for justification of drinking. Sorry.
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  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber mohican's Avatar
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    Bones - IMO, a gain in public safety is not worth a loss of liberty, or personal freedom. And as I have seen lately, even with 21 being the drinking age, I am seeing locally an increase in drunken fatalities from that age group. I'm not using a soldier killing as a justification for drinking, I'm saying that the perks of adulthood should go along with the responsibilities of adulthood.

    If you have adult responsibilities, and have the potential for adult penalties, then you should have all the adult privelage.

    Ultimately, restricting people legally does not have effect on behaviour, and restricting bad behavior.

    In the early 80's, as a ballot issue, Ohio voted overwhelmingly to have legal beer at age 18. The state caved in to the feds several years later with the threat of loss of highway funds. That still burns me!!! Promise of safety for a loss of liberty always seems seductive, but the promise never seems fullfilled.

    Its been about 15 years for the whole united states being 21 &over legally. Teen drinking is still an issue.

  20. #20
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    It's not that kids want alcohol because it's against the law for them to have it. They want alcohol to get drunk and have a good time with their friends. You have to be at least 18 to buy a lottery ticket, but you don't see kids desparately trying to get adults to buy them lottery tickets do you??

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