NEWTOWN - Teenagers looking forward to booze-fueled end-of-the-year parties take note - five people under 21 were arrested for alcohol possession in town over the weekend. It is part of a police department crackdown on underage drinking. Chief Michael Kehoe said his department had extra patrols out searching for underage drinkers and those willing to supply them with booze. On Friday, three people - two men, age 18 and 19, and an 18-year-old woman - were arrested around 10 p.m. in the parking lot of the Big Y grocery store at 6 Queen St. Police officers on an underage drinking "directed patrol" spotted the trio sitting in a car with an open container of alcohol. They were all charged with alcohol possession. The woman was also charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia after police found a glass pipe on her. On Saturday police arrested two boys after they were spotted heading into the woods off Bridge End Farm Road with alcohol. The 16-year-old was charged with alcohol possession. The 15-year-old was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. A few weeks ago police officers approached every business that sells alcohol in town and asked them to hang posters reading "Don't Even Try It." The posters are meant to prevent underage drinkers from buying alcohol. Business owners were also advised to be more vigilant when checking driver's licenses when they sell alcohol. It is all part of a town-wide campaign to curb substance abuse among young people in Newtown, Kehoe said."We're putting a specific amount of time and effort into combating this problem. We're focusing on it right now," the chief said. The money to cover the police department's overtime costs for the added patrols is being picked up by a state grant to the town. The police department efforts will kick into full gear next week. May 10 is the start of "Stop Underage Drinking Week" in Newtown. A group of elected officials, students and residents called "NoSuds" (Newtown Organization to Stop Underage Drinking Soon), will be hosting an array of events to address the issue. A forum on alcohol and the law is scheduled for May 10. A concert at the town's teen center is scheduled for May 14. Gloria Allred, of Newtown Youth Services, is the "NoSuds" community coordinator."Enforcement is a very important and effective measure for prevention," Allred said. "What we've found in the research is that when we ask youth 'What would keep you and your peers from engaging in underage drinking?' one of the most often cited answers is arrests and checking IDs." This year the police department has a new tool to combat underage drinking. The "NoSuds" group and local lawmakers drafted and adopted a local law last year that imposes a fine on underage drinkers caught with alcohol on private property. The law also imposes an approximate $100 fine on anyone hosting a party where underage people are drinking. First Selectman Herb Rosenthal credited the police department and residents for their contributions to the prevention efforts. At a recent forum hosted by the Newtown Parent Connection, students from the high school said parents sometimes host beer parties and will drink or smoke marijuana with their children."They should be lucky I'm not the judge because I would throw the book at them," Rosenthal said of parents who condone the behavior. "There are too many parents who still think that kids will be kids and drinking isn't a big deal. It's a bad message to send to children." Contact Eugene Driscoll at edriscoll@newstimes.com or at (203) 426-3711.