Dad Defends Teen Drinking Party

<B>Lesley Stahl</B> Talks To Father Who Was Arrested For Allowing Teenage Drinking At Home

Consider a stunning statistic: Between 10 and 20 percent of all the alcohol consumed in this country is drunk by kids who are underage.

It's an epidemic that leaves parents facing agonizing choices -- parents like Bill and Pat Anderson in West Warwick, R.I. When their son, Gregg, asked to throw an after-prom party with alcohol at their home, their first response was, "No way."

But then, Gregg told them the party would be at a local beach instead -- and that got them thinking. At the beach, there would be no supervision, and everyone would have to drive home. At their house, they could lay down some rules.

Gregg Anderson was 18 years old at the time, the youngest of the Andersons' three sons. The Andersons say they'd seen too many kids in their town lost to drunk driving, so they decided that a party with rules was the safer way to go.

"The rules were anybody that walked in the door, it didn't matter if they drove or not, they were not leaving," Gregg Anderson tells . "If you weren't gonna stay, you weren't gonna come at all."

Bill Anderson says he sat at the front door: "I took a recliner, put it down at the front door, grabbed a good novel. I let them know as soon as they came in the door, the keys came over. So, if you needed to get anything out of your car, get it done before you came into the house -- because once you come in the door, you don't leave."

He says he and his wife weren't going to let Gregg's friends drive, but they would them drink, as long as they got the alcohol themselves. That afternoon, Gregg and his friends carried a keg and a half out to their back deck.

What did Pat Anderson think about her son drinking? "If I could say to him, 'No, you cannot drink,' and know he wouldn't, that would be a wonderful situation," she says. "And it would be the answer to everything. But that's just not realistic. These kids do drink."

"Just saying no, just doesn't work," adds Bill Anderson.

"What if you had said, 'OK, I'll have the party, but no alcohol?'" asks Stahl.

"They wouldn't have come," says Bill Anderson.

"We wouldn't have had the party there," adds Gregg Anderson. "I was not gonna not drink after my senior prom. It just wasn't gonna happen."

And Gregg's friends who were at the party agree. "Absolutely," says Kyle O'Connor.

Approximately 50 kids arrived that night around midnight. Bill Anderson was standing guard at the door at 3 a.m., when the police showed up on a noise complaint. The officers took names and addresses, and drove away with the kegs.

The Andersons thought that was the end of it, until a week later, when Bill Anderson was arrested. The story was big news on local TV, and the front page of the paper.