You were absolutely right to tell the parents of a 17 year old girl who threw a wild party while they were out of town, to have her arrested.
I, too, was basically a good kid: a nice, smart girl from an affluent family. But after my parents divorced when I was 15, I really started acting out. I was ditching school, running away from home, and I eventually ended up being arrested for shoplifting. But that was THE BEST THING THAT COULD HAVE EVER HAPPENED TO ME! It scared the living hell out of me (and I only sat in that jail cell for 3 hours)! The Judge ordered me to attend school, bring my failing grades up to passing, and do 60 hours of community service.
Being arrested was exactly the wake-up call I needed. I brought up my grades from F's to A's, never missed a class again, and began my community service at a Senior Center. Being arrested really opened my eyes and helped me turn my entire life around. I've been straight as an arrow ever since. And the best thing to come out of all of it is my community service helped me find a genuine appreciation and admiration for senior citizens. I currently volunteer at my neighborhood Senior Center where I grocery-shop for home-bound seniors every week. I hope those parents follow your advice and have her arrested. It's exactly the kind of kick in the pants she needs.
Amanda (now age 38)