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Don't get a DWI on prom night

As the school year winds down at high schools all over Kentucky, students are preparing for prom night. While this annual event is a cherished rite of passage for teens, it can also be quite deadly for some of them.

One media outlet reports that as many as 70 percent of high school students will be drinking and driving on prom night. Considering that the legal age for purchasing and consuming alcohol is 21, this is a scary proposition indeed.

It is incumbent upon parents to stake steps to make sure that their teens are safe on prom night. Peer pressure is a strong motivator for teens to bend rules until they snap, so equipping kids with strategies to avoid this type of negative influence can keep them safer. The following tips may also be useful.

-- Have a thorough discussion with your teen about the rules for attending prom. The discussion should include the repercussions for breaking either the school's or the parents' rules.

-- Learn detailed plans for the evening's festivities to make sure that there are no large blocks of unsupervised time where a teen can get into trouble.

-- Double-check with other parents about after-prom activities to avoid the possibility of teens claiming to be sleeping at each other's homes and actually being out all night unsupervised.

-- Determine the driving arrangements. If a limo or party bus is involved, find out what their policies are about underage drinking.

-- Send your sons and daughters out the door on prom night with fully charged cellphones, car chargers and enough cash to arrange for an emergency cab ride home.

-- Promise to come and get a stranded or inebriated teen on prom night no matter what the time or location to avoid an even more dangerous alternative.

Should your teen drink and drive on prom night and wind up arrested for driving under the influence, retaining a criminal defense attorney with experience in DWI cases can sometimes prevent a conviction that can haunt them well into adulthood.

Source: Absolute Advocacy, "Safe, Sober Prom Night: Preventing Underage Drinking & Driving On Prom Night," accessed May 19, 2016

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Michael J. Thompson, Attorney at Law

16360 Fort Campbell Blvd.
Oak Grove, KY 42262
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Phone: 270-605-0441
Toll Free: 866-397-7788
Fax: 270-439-1177

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