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Staying Safe on Prom Night
What Grandparents, Parents and Teens Can Do

During prom season, students enjoy the excitement of dressing up, dancing and dining. Unfortunately, some choose to add drinking and driving to the mixture, and what should be a memorable night for good reasons turns into a tragic, life-altering moment for some.

To address the issues of safety and sobriety on prom night, AARP Motoring Plan encourages you to take extra steps to ensure a safe night for the prom goers, and a not-so-anxious night for the grandparents and parents.

  1. Make sure you're familiar with the kids in your student's prom group. If you're uneasy about any of these prom goers, voice your concerns BEFORE prom night. If your student still insists on going with a group you disapprove of, consider more stringent rules as far as mode of transportation and curfew times. Stick with your gut feelings.

  2. Know where your student will be before and after the prom event itself. Call parents to verify the information you are given. Make sure these parents don't think it's OK to serve alcohol to minors. Parents have different parenting styles. Don't assume that your styles agree.

  3. Hire a taxi or limo to drive the kids to the pre-party, the dinner, the dance and the after-parties. Split the cost between families. It's worth it this one night for the peace of mind.

  4. Some high schools offer "safe" after-prom parties where students participate in a "lock-in." The event usually takes place in a different location than the prom. Dance music, karaoke, games, prizes, snacks, etc., are provided in a relaxed atmosphere until breakfast. Encourage your student to attend any school-sponsored after-prom parties.

  5. Reassure your student that prom night is NOT a rite of passage that involves alcohol. Remind him/her that he/she are merely dancing in an expensive outfit and eating a nice dinner. She or he is not yet 21.

  6. Give your student an "alibi" to use just in case he/she feels pressured to drink. "I already had my car privileges taken away this month. If I get caught drinking, I'll lose my care forever!" might be one.

  7. Make it perfectly clear that your student should NEVER get into a car with someone who has been drinking. Make sure your student can get in touch with you at any time that evening to call for a ride... with no questions asked. If you will not be available on prom night, make sure to give your student the name and phone number of an adult who can supply a ride in such a circumstance.

  8. Make sure you student has enough money to take a cab if necessary.

Resources taken from the AARP Motoring website

Staying Safe on Prom Night

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