Underage drinking problem on KC party buses, some say

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. --  Kansas City teenagers say underage drinking is happening on party buses  -- and no one is stopping them.

With prom and graduation, party bus rentals this time of the year are popular among high school students.

FOX 4 spoke with a few teens on Monday, but none wanted to be identified. All of them say it's the safest and easiest way to drink with your friends with little risk of getting caught.

"Its a big thing to do," said one high school senior who didn't want to be identified. She also says they are the perfect place to drink underage.

"Partying at somebody's house is a lot more susceptible to getting busted and people getting in trouble rather than a traveling bus all over the city," she said.

Many Kansas City party bus companies only require you to be 18 years old to rent a party bus. Several hundred dollars will get you and up to 50 friends a driver and a few hours on the town.

"It's that nobody's drinking and driving. We're not at somebody's house where somebody's parents or whatnot can get in trouble," said the high school senior.

Taylor Hill with Horizon Limousine says his company makes the person reserving the bus sign a contract clearly stating there will be no underage drinking.

However, part of the problem is, kids bringing liquor on the bus concealed in backpacks and water bottles.

Hill admits underage drinking on party buses is a problem in the industry.

"A lot of companies who don't want to care about drinking and stuff like that, they will rent to anybody. All they're after is getting a certain amount of money for their rental and they will turn that blind eye because they don't think its their liability," Hill said.

"We've had bus drivers that were okay with smoking cigarettes or marijuana and drinking. And we've had bus drivers that when we tried to get on they were like, no alcohol, not nothing but then eventually they came around once we gave them a pretty nice tip," the high school senior added.

Some contacts for other Kansas City party bus companies clearly state they are not responsible for any drinking on the bus.

The Missouri Department of Transportation, who regulates the industry, did not return our calls for comment.

Kansas City police say they are not sure if a driver could be held liable.

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