Stilwell woman accused of providing alcohol to teenagers at party

STILWELL, Kan. -- A Johnson County woman is charged with providing alcohol at a party she hosted for teenagers. The charge is against 36-year-old Marie Grider of Stilwell.

FOX 4 reached out to Grider for comment, but we haven’t heard back. Meanwhile FOX 4 has learned from those in prevention that alcohol use is happening with kids in Johnson County younger than you might think.

"Really surprisingly here in Johnson County the age of first use of alcohol is 13 years old," said Shana Burgess, director of prevention and community relations for Johnson County Mental Health Services.

The group is behind prevention programs like "Sticker shock" where they go to liquor stores and place labels on bottles urging folks to keep it out of the hands of minors. The stickers also remind them of the consequences if they do.

"A lot of people think about it as a rite of passage, and that I did it when I was young or what not, but the reality is the earlier kids start drinking the earlier the more likely they are to have more consequences within their life," said Burgess.

She says access in the parent`s home is a great concern in part because kids have repeated exposure

"One of the media campaigns was, 'Where do kids get alcohol?' It`s right by the milk in the fridge," said Burgess.

She encourages parents to have conversation with their kids about alcohol prevention early and often, and educated them about the consequences of underage drinking, including poor brain development.

"That brain development piece is critical because we know now that the brain doesn`t fully develop until the age 25, and so we really want to be protecting and having all the elements there to make sure the brain is fully functional," said Burgess.

Grider was being held on a $2,500 bond, and has since posted it and been released from jail. She's due in court on September 30.