WOLCOTT, Conn. – The reigning Miss Connecticut Outstanding Teen, a volunteer for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, held a party that resulted in two dozen people being charged with underage drinking, police said Wednesday.
Rachael Ramonas, 17, once organized a benefit for the families of friends killed in a car crash in which the teen behind the wheel had a history of drunken driving, according to the Web site of Miss America's Outstanding Teen.
It's not clear whether Ramonas, who competed in the Miss America Outstanding Teen pageant in August in Florida, was among those charged. Police are not releasing the teens' names because they are juveniles, and no teens are charged with drunken driving.
Ramonas, a high school senior, is an honor and AP student, according to the Web site of Miss America's Outstanding Teen.
She has been dancing for 15 years, training in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and pointe, the site said. She is also a choreographer at a local dance center.
Officers responding to an anonymous call about underage drinking Saturday night found beer, rum and items commonly used for a drinking game called beer pong.
Ramonas' parents were out of the state when police arrived, said Domenic Angiolillo, police captain in Wolcott, about 30 miles southwest of Hartford.
The Miss Outstanding Teen contest promotes academic and creative achievements. Ramonas received a $2,000 scholarship.
As part of her yearlong reign, Ramonas agreed to work with the Connecticut chapter of MADD, which calls drinking the nation's biggest youth drug problem.
"At this point we'll have to re-evaluate that (relationship) and see if she holds herself accountable with hosting that party," said Janice Heggie Margolis, executive director of MADD's Connecticut chapter.
"I'm hoping she feels very bad and embarrassed," Margolis said.
Denise Ramonas told reporters Wednesday that her daughter's behavior was out of character.
"It was just a judgment call, a poor judgment call, and this is what happened," she said.
Ramonas' parents also released a statement saying she didn't drink any alcohol and none of the other people at the house that night was found to be under the influence of alcohol. They didn't say whether their daughter was charged.
Pageant officials are deciding whether to take action. Ramonas' term ends in June.
Ramonas had apparently planned a low-key gathering, but friends invited friends and it got out of hand, Angiolillo said.
Police issued 24 tickets for possession of alcohol by a minor. The infraction carries a $136 fine and an automatic driver's license suspension of at least 30 days.
"It's not the end of the world. It's not the crime of the century," Angiolillo said. "It's just a shame, that's all. You have to take responsibility for your actions."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.