Numerous Torrington High School students will be receiving citations after they were caught drinking at a school dance this past weekend, police say.

Chief Matt Johnson says several students were contacted by school staff and police officers in a vehicle in the parking lot and found to be in possession of alcohol and under the influence.

"There were a number of other students who quickly left the dance when the alcohol was discovered," Johnson said in a Facebook post. "Staff and officers were not able to immediately contact them, but they are believed to also have been under the influence."

Johnson says the source of the alcohol is being investigated.

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"Holding teens accountable when they make bad decisions is not a role that we enjoy playing, but we recognize that it is a critical function in keeping our community safe," he said.

Johnson says all too often, teens receive the message that underage drinking is harmless fun.

"Sadly, this is far from the truth," said Johnson. "Every week, we see communities across our country who experience horrible tragedies related to teen drinking."

"If we want to protect the safety and long-term success of our youth, it is critical that we address this issue as a community," he added. "We all have the responsibility to prevent tragedy and help teens learn to manage alcohol responsibly when they become adults."

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