CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Prom night is a milestone in most teenagers lives, but unfortunately the special evening usually coincides with alcohol consumption and other dangerous behaviors. With prom season in full swing, AAA Carolinas is warning teens and parents about the deadly consequences facing those who participate in underage drinking and illegal drug use and offering tips to have a safe night.
In a recent AAA survey, nearly 40 percent of high school teens between 16 and 19 say it’s likely they or their friends would be under the influence of drugs or alcohol sometime during prom night. Also, 87 percent of those teens surveyed believe they or a friend would drive home drunk rather than call a parent.
“What we want to encourage is crucial conversations between parents and teens about the dangerous situations that could occur on prom night,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety president. “Many times teens are afraid to call home for a safe ride for fear of getting into trouble.”
Here are some tips for parents regarding how to talk to their teens in advance of prom night:
• Let teens know that even if they make a mistake and drink too much, or have a friend who does, you will pick them up anywhere and anytime, without giving them a lecture.
• Have open and casual conversations during other activities (like shopping for the prom dress or tux) so it doesn’t seem like a “big talk.”