A Poway attorney accused of allowing alcohol at a Playboy-themed birthday party for his 18-year-old daughter is denying that he permitted teens to drink at the party.
Jeffrey Lake, a civil rights lawyer who has represented medical marijuana cases, was taken into custody on suspicion of violating San Diego County’s social host ordinance, which makes the homeowner responsible for any underage drinking at a party thrown at their home.
Lake said in a statement that he has not been charged in the Jan. 2 incident.
Jan Caldwell, spokeswoman for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, said about 200 people -- 150 of them younger than 21 -- attended the party Friday at Lake’s Poway home.
A large amount of alcohol was observed inside the home and many partygoers admitted to being intoxicated, she said.
After deputies entered the home to check on the welfare of the underage partygoers, they found a large amount of alcohol and two teens who were "heavily intoxicated and barely coherent," Caldwell said.
But Lake said that was not the case.
Sheriff’s deputies, he said, arrived at his home about 10:30 p.m. after a neighbor reported seeing a minor consume alcohol.
“I took all reasonable steps to prevent the consumption of alcoholic beverages by any minor at the gathering,” he said.
Lake argued that he did not allow any teens to drink alcohol and have any access to it. The quantity of alcohol at the party, he said, was controlled. All minors who attended the party were supervised, he added.
His daughter’s invitation, which Lake provided to The Times, read:
- For apparel feel free to interpret the theme how you'd like but if you need some ideas, guys - robes, Chip n' dales dancers, Hugh Heffer styled clothing, whatever you're comfortable with. And ladies· playboy bunny costumes, bunny tails and cars, tutu's, leotards, anything that's in your comfort zone.
- There will be plenty to do such as eat, dance, hang out with the D.J. or even check out the photo booth.
The invitation asked partygoers to behave themselves and respect their home, he said.
Lake said the invitation also said:
“Please do not be the person who ruins the party for everyone and respect those people around you and the house. No one wants any issues throughout the night so do not allow yourself to be the person the party is rolled, canceled, or ruined. I hate to be a hard ass but if you cannot follow the rules then you will not be able to come.”
The attorney said he has suffered “defamation and constitutional violations” because of to the incident.
“Despite my family’s intentions to provide my daughter a fun and safe 18th birthday party in the privacy of our own home... it appears that uninvited troublemakers on a public street created a scenario which has resulted in exactly the opposite; leaving my family to deal with the consequences of their actions,” he said.
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