Prom: the pinnacle of the high school social scene. Chances are your high school senior has been looking forward to this day since September, picking out what they will wear, who they will ask, and whose afterparty they will attend. With all the excitement bubbling, it’s easy to focus on the fun aspects of the event and ignore its darker side; however, parents need to sit their teen down for a serious talk so that they can stay safe on prom night. Drinking, doing drugs, distracted and drowsy driving are real risks that teens face on prom night. Following are some tips to develop a plan for managing these risks:
- Determine how your teen will travel to and from the prom. Will they be driving? If so, ensure they understand the severity of drinking and driving, even if they only have a couple sips. Is their date driving? In that case, your teen needs to know that if they see their date drinking, they should not get into the car with them. In either situation, your teen should feel confident that they can call you for a ride if necessary, without fear of retribution. Tell your teen that you will happily pick them up with no questions or judgment. Then do it.
- Another driving danger is distracted driving. If your teen is driving a carload of friends, make sure they understand the importance of focusing on the road rather than the conversation in the car. Similarly, if your teen will be driving in the wee morning hours after the prom, let them know that if they are too tired, that they should call you and you will give everyone in their car a ride home.
- If your budget allows, the safest transportation option is to rent a limousine or other form of transportation with a professional driver.
- Find out your teen’s after-prom plans. If they are attending a party at a friend’s home, call the parent and find out what kind of supervision will be there. If your teen is planning to host a party at your home, do not allow drinking. Moreover, stay awake for the duration of the party and make periodic appearances to ensure that other teens do not bring alcohol. Allowing minors to drink in your home is a crime. Not only are you financially liable if one of the teens drinking in your home is involved in a car accident, you may face criminal charges as well.
By developing a plan to stay safe, the prom will be a fun night for your high schooler to cherish for years to come. The attorneys at Rader Law Group wish all the high school seniors and their families a wonderful and safe prom season!
Rader Law Group, LLC
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