Springtime in Tennessee means it is time for prom. Teens all over the region are preparing for this annual rite of passage. But prom night can bring more than pleasant memories of dining and dancing with dates and friends.
It also heralds a rash of DUI charges and alcohol-related collisions, some of which may be fatal.
What parents should know about prom night
During the peak months of prom season – April to June – about one-third of all teen deaths in alcohol-related collisions occur. In one survey, 41% of teens between 16 and 19 stated it was “likely” they would drink alcohol and/or do drugs with their friends when they went to prom.
Perhaps most worrisome of all is that teens reported 84% of their peers would drive impaired instead of contacting their parents for a safe ride home. Still another 22% said they would ride with an intoxicated teen driver before calling a parent to come to retrieve them from the festivities.
Deal with realities
Parents want to believe the best about their sons and daughters. But they should also realize that teens’ brains are still maturing, and they are often ill-equipped with the tools to make the best decisions on prom night – or any night. Talk to your teens. Give them safer options that can include consequences but in the immediate moment will protect their lives and reputations.
If your teen makes a mistake and winds up with a prom-night arrest for DUI, you can still help spare them the lifelong consequences of a criminal conviction.