Prom night is one of the most anticipated nights of the year for most high school students, but for many parents it’s also an anxious one spent worrying about the safety of their teen. That’s why Alcohol Awareness Month falls in April, at the beginning of prom season. Studies show that more than 90 percent of teens believe their fellow classmates will likely drink and drive on prom night, and 54 percent of students will have approximately four drinks before the night is done.
The attorneys at Hupy and Abraham hope that with the following tips you and your teen will be safe and sound when prom night finally comes to a close.
- Talk about risks. Discuss the dangers of drinking with your teen, including ways for them to decline drinks and other dangerous activities they may feel pressured into. It’s not necessary to scare them, but being aware that the poor decisions of others can also affect them makes a difference.
- Know their plans. Find out where your teen will be throughout the evening and how they will get there. Ask them to check in with you throughout the night, and discuss a curfew. If they are attending a post-prom party, contact other parents to make sure the party will have supervision and be free of alcohol.
- Stress not to drive drunk. Talk to your teen about never drinking while driving or riding with a driver who has been drinking. Statistics show that prom night and graduation night are two of the most hazardous times for teens to be out driving. Consider getting together with other families to rent a limo so teens won’t have to drive.
- Remain available unconditionally. Make it clear to your teen that no matter what the situation, they can call you for help or a ride without fear of being humiliated in front of friends. Perhaps come up with a simple, agreed-upon phrase that will cue you to pick them up, if they ever feel unsafe.
- Remind them that supervised drinking is not okay. Discourage teens from attending after-prom parties where alcohol is present. Some parents think it’s okay to permit underage drinking if supervised, but providing alcohol to teens can result in serious fines and even jail time.
It’s important to remember that prom and graduation are milestones in your teen’s life and that simply opening up a conversation about safety and choices can make a huge impact. Discussions about drinking and driving, drugs and sex are important conversations that shouldn’t be put off. Car accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers, and discussions about limits need to take place early in adolescence.
We hope that these tips help you speak with your teens about the importance of a safe and sober prom night for everyone involved. But in the unfortunate event that you or a loved one are injured by a drunk driver on prom night, please contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham. Call 800-800-5678 or start a live chat anytime at Hupy.com.