Last year, students at a local Houston high school produced a public service announcement warning their peers of the dangers of drunk driving. The PSA was released ahead of their high school prom and reportedly was designed to deter their fellow students from getting behind the wheel drunk.
The effort was part of just one of many programs designed to encourage teens to stay sober, or at least avoid drunk driving, on prom night. Prom season starts in March and lasts through the end of May. A spike in alcohol-related traffic accidents and deaths involving young people occurs during this time period. Parents and kids need to be aware of the increased risk of driving intoxicated during prom season. Victims of collisions with drunk teens also need to understand their rights. Drunk driving accident lawyers in Houston can help collision victims, so call Hagood & Neumann today to schedule your free consultation.
Intoxicated Driving Dangers During Prom Season
Research indicates that as many as 70 percent of high school juniors and seniors expect that their peers will drink on prom night. Peer pressure and the idea of prom as a momentous occasion all contribute to underage alcohol consumption. Prom season is also the start of "senior slump" when teenagers begin to look ahead toward leaving home and a summer party season, putting the stress of college applications behind them.
Schools do their best to stop drinking, with some throwing after parties and others locking down venues so students cannot come and go during the prom event. However, drinking still occurs at after-parties, which are often unsupervised. For some teens, prom night is the first encounter with alcohol use, and these young people are at especially great risk of driving drunk because they may not know how alcohol impacts their judgment.
It is up to students and parents to prevent post-prom drinking events that could result in deadly collisions. Teens should make a commitment not to engage in alcohol consumption and not to let their friends drive drunk. Parents, too, can take steps to protect their children including:
- Hiring a limousine to transport your kids and their friends so no one is tempted to drive drunk (kids routinely group together to rent a limo).
- Finding out where your kids will be after prom and ensuring that any parties attended will be supervised.
- Reminding your kids to call you for a ride, any time day or night, no questions asked.
If parents make clear that drinking is not acceptable and that drunk driving is even worse, kids will hopefully get the message and avoid intoxication at prom. Public service videos and positive peer pressure from other teens committed to staying sober can also help to keep the roads safer and reduce the risk of death during prom season. Finally, parents need to be aware that social host laws in Texas could result in legal liability for parents who allow underage alcohol consumption in their homes. Do not let your kids, or their friends, drink in your house after prom or you could end up responsible for injuries or accident deaths.
Drunk driving accident lawyers in Houston can help collision victims. Call Hagood & Neumann at (800) 632-9404 or visit www.h-nlaw.com to schedule your free consultation.