BENTON, AR (News Release) - Once again prom time has arrived for high school students. Hopefully it will be a time to reflect back on all of the good times and not leave any bad memories. Unfortunately, sometimes things take a turn for the worse and prom can have the unintended effect of leaving scars for life.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the leading cause of death for teenagers is traffic crash related injuries. Approximately 1/3 of these traffic crashes involved alcohol as a contributing factor. For a young driver, this means one drink is all it takes to be impaired. According to Lt. Kevin Russell, “Impaired driving is not just another traffic offense; it is a serious crime that often causes needless deaths and injuries.” “Our message is simple, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. If you are over the limit, we will arrest and prosecute you. No exceptions. No excuses.”
Some ideas for parents on making sure your teen has a safe and memorable prom include:
- Discuss the ground rules for prom night and the consequences for violations
- Good lines of communication help set a positive note for the evening
- Talk about the agenda for the evening and what is expected and acceptable
- Hosting a house party where alcohol is served to minors is not only against the law, but those hosting it can be held responsible for consequences
- Speak with other prom-goers parents about the evening
- If a limo is being used be sure to check the company policy on alcohol use
- Make it known that you will be waiting up on them to return home and that a curfew will be strictly enforced
Underage drinking laws in all 50 states make it illegal for those under age 21 to consume any amount of alcohol. The Benton Police Department will be out in full force this weekend looking for all impaired drivers with an emphasis on violators of Arkansas’ Underage DUI Law, which makes it illegal for anyone under age 21 to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02 or above.
Hopefully this prom season will be a safe and enjoyable experience for both parents and children by following these ideas. For more information about a safe prom experience, click here
to visit the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) website. Stay safe out there.