Prom and Graduation Safety - Preventing Underage DUI Accidents

The end of the school year is fast approaching, heralding prom and graduation season. Over the next month, numerous teens will attend prom and graduation parties hosted by friends, family members, and even acquaintances. At some of these parties, alcohol may be served or there may be lack of adult supervision allowing teenagers opportunity to drink or do drugs. Don’t let this joyous time in the lives of your teens be marred with tragedy caused by alcohol use.

Providing Alcohol for Teens

Some parents may think it’s cool to provide alcohol to their teens. Actually, it’s not just illegal, it can be risky for you and dangerous for them.

Offering alcohol to people at your home makes you a “social host.” Persons over the age of 21 who consume that alcohol are, by law, adults and therefore responsible for their own actions. Minors under the age of 21, however, are not. According to some state laws, as a “social host,” you could be held responsible for any damage or injuries they cause while under the influence of alcohol. Even if a teen takes alcohol from your house without your consent, you could be held responsible if they hurt anyone.

Never provide alcohol for teens on prom night, graduation, or any other occasion, for that matter. If you do host a party for teens this spring where alcohol will be served to adults, consider having the function at a venue where a bartender will be checking IDs.

Some parents subscribe to the logic that they their teens will be safe drinking in their own homes instead of going somewhere else and trying to drive home. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is impossible for a parent to monitor everything going on at a party where alcohol is served to teens. Sadly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol is to blame for the deaths of more than 4,300 minors each year.

Further Reading: Shotgun! How to be a Better Passenger

The Risks of Drinking and Driving

Driving under the influence is not just an adult problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that almost one-third of teen drivers killed in car accidents in 2013 had been drinking.

Before heading out for prom or any other celebration, make sure your teen knows the dangers of drinking and driving. Discuss with them their plans for the night, including pre-prom activities and where they’ll be going after the dance.

It’s not just enough to tell your teen not to drink and drive. They also need to be reminded not to get in the car with a friend who has been drinking. Peer pressure can be awfully convincing, and your teens need to know that even if they haven’t been drinking, riding with a drunk driver can be equally dangerous.

Some tips to help keep your teens safe during this special time of year, include:

  • Discussing prom night rules with your teen and signing a pledge saying they won’t drink or ride with someone who has been drinking
  • Making sure your teen has a cellphone to call you if they need a safe ride home
  • Consider reserving a limo for the night

Contact Our Denver Car Accident Lawyers

If your child is injured in a car accident because of a drunk driver or another reckless teen driver, it is important to know where you can turn for help. Our Denver car accident attorneys understand the issues and complications you face after an accident and we work tirelessly to see that you get the help you need. We know how to take on the large insurance companies and we know how to fight to win your case. We employ accident recreation experts if needed, and we investigate all possible angles of your case to get you the maximum compensation for your injuries.

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