Since prom season is here, teens are preparing their ways to make the night a memorable one. Unfortunately, many believe that goal cannot be achieved without alcohol.
KMZU’s Sara Miles was able to speak with Emily Shell, the Program Specialist for the Underage Drinking program for Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Sergeant Collin Stosberg, the Public Information Officer for Troop A of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
According to the Youth Risk Behavior Surveys, the percentage of teens in high school who drink and drive has decreased by more than half since 1991. Even though this number has decreased, this does not mean that drunk driving is eradicated. Sergeant Stosberg says the Missouri State Highway Patrol will be even more proactive this prom season to make sure teens are not getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
Shell suggests the easiest way to avoid drunk driving is to not drink. Shell says, “One of the greatest protective behaviors is waiting until 21 to start using alcohol. “
On prom night, Shell also suggests finding ways to have fun without using alcohol. “They can go out bowling, they can go watch a late night movie, they can have bonfires at their house.” Shell also adds, “There are millions more things that don’t involve alcohol than do involve alcohol.”
Parents can get involved and make sure their teens are staying safe this prom season. Sergeant Stosberg stated, “Everyone needs to monitor their teens driving.” The Center for Disease control suggests providing teens with a safe way to get if their driver has been drinking, model safe driving behavior, and consider tools like parent-teen driving agreements to set and enforce the “rules of the road” for new drivers.
For more information on teen drinking, visit www.madd.org.