News & Politics

75 Arrested for Underage Drinking at 'Large Amish Party' in Ohio

What is being called a “large Amish party” was broken up in Holmes County, Ohio, late Saturday night and into Sunday morning resulting in around 75 adult and juvenile arrests for underage drinking.

According to a report in The Daily Record, concerned parents began calling the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office late last week to let them know of “a large party expected to attract more than 1,000 Amish youth from across Ohio and neighboring states.”

They discovered the party in a massive field along County Road 400 in Hardy Township early Sunday morning.

According to The Daily Record, more than 40 officers from Holmes, Coshocton, Carroll, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties, along with the State Highway Patrol and Millersburg Police Department were involved in the raid. The Holmes Fire Department also assisted at the scene.

This isn’t the first time Amish youth in the area have been in trouble with the law for underage drinking. This past May five young men were arrested in neighboring Wayne County after a Sugarcreek Twp. resident complained about loud music coming from a neighbor’s home. When Wayne County Sheriff’s deputies arrived they discovered around 30 people partying in a nearby wooded lot. Wayne County Sheriff’s Capt. Doug Hunter told The Daily Record that deputies observed numerous Amish buggies and alcohol containers in the area when they arrived. Most of the party attendees took off running, but five people were apprehended and arrested for underage alcohol consumption.

“This is a typical thing,” Capt. Hunter said. “These types of gatherings are not uncommon in the southeast area of Wayne County.”

In some (not all) Amish communities, young people who have not yet made the decision to be baptized and join the church partake in a season of “Rumspringa,” a Pennsylvania Dutch term which, roughly translated, means “running around outside the bounds.” Some teens decide they want to try out the pleasures of the modern “English” (non-Amish) world before they commit to the confines of the Amish life.

Even so, the incidences of Amish teens running afoul of the law are far fewer than those of their non-Amish counterparts.