Three teens got lost for hours in the middle of the night after leaving a big party on the Iron Range – which later got busted by police, resulting in dozens of underage drinking-related citations.
The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office broke up the big party in Hibbing early Sunday, it said in a press release. Officers found the party being held on property owned by Hibbing Taconite, which authorities say could only be accessed through private land.
Nearly 40 citations were issued for offenses ranging from driving while intoxicated, underage drinking and driving, illegal consumption, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
But as they were breaking up the gathering, police dispatchers were told three teenagers who left the party earlier on foot were "lost, cold and wet."
The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office Volunteer Rescue Squad was called out to find the trio.
The teens were located by search teams shortly after 8 a.m. – so more than 7 hours after leaving the party. They were taken to the UMCM-Fairview hospital in Hibbing.
Police also notified the local schools district of those involved in the bust, as per Minnesota law, "for any sanctions that may apply for school-related activities."
Although drinking before the age of 21 is illegal in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control reports people aged 12-20 are responsible for 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the U.S., of which 90 percent is consumed during binge drinking sessions.
Underage drinkers consume more drinks per session than adult drinkers, the CDC says, and alcohol-related injuries or conditions were responsible for 189,000 hospital visits in 2010.