As high school students all along the Carolina Coast – from Myrtle Beach to Charleston – gear up for prom, it is a good time to talk to your kids about the consequences of drinking and driving.
Teenagers might say prom is all about finding the right dress, the most suave tuxedo, or a good restaurant to gather before the dance. But law enforcement, school officials and parents are concerned that teens too often associate the prom with drinking.
Every day in the United States, an average of 27 people die as a result of drunk-driving accidents, according to the most recent reports. Fatalities rise as the age of drivers drops. In a new report, Mothers Against Drunk Driving estimates that 32 percent of all deaths related to underage drinking are traffic fatalities.
But taking away the keys does not eliminate the risks of underage drinking, MADD president Jan Withers warns. MADD estimates that 68 percent of deaths related to underage drinking are not traffic-related.
Many schools require students to sign a Prom Promise as part of the Safe Sober Prom Night Program, which was founded in 1991 to encourage teens to stay drug-free and alcohol-free during prom.