Zero Tolerance: Sober girl who went to pick up friend who had gotten drunk at party charged with drinking, even police said that she wasn't drinking
“Don’t let friends drive drunk,” we tell our kids. “If you’ve been drinking, call mom or dad to come get you — no questions asked,” we tell them, too. “And if you can’t call your parents, call a sober friend.”
Erin’s friend called sober Erin. Erin drove to a home on Main Street in Boxford and worked her way through a wild scene of partying teens until she finally found that friend — just as police from Boxford, Haverhill, Georgetown and North Andover showed up. They arrested a dozen underage drinkers and warned another 15 underage youths that they’d be summoned to court for drinking.
Erin Cox was one of those told she’d be summoned for drinking — even though she wasn’t, even though Boxford police Officer Brian Neeley vouched for her sobriety in writing in a statement Erin’s mother, Eleanor, took to court Friday. She filed a lawsuit hoping to reverse the high school’s punishment: Erin was stripped of her captain’s position and suspended, mid-season, for five games. . . .
“But I wasn’t drinking,” she told me. “And I felt like going to get her was the right thing to do. Saving her from getting in the car when she was intoxicated and hurt herself or getting in the car with someone else who was drinking. I’d give her a ride home.” . . .
Asked what she had learned, Erin Cox said, “I just feel very defeated. When you’re in high school you’re supposed to stay perfect and be perfect, but everyone makes mistakes.” Asked if, knowing what she knows now, she was mistaken to get her friend, she said she would do it all over again. . . .