April 10, 2002 -- Help Your Parents Get Through Prom Night

Prom night is often the most anticipated social event of the year for high school students. With the anticipation comes pressure. Will it be as memorable as advertised? How will the date go? Not to mention putting together all the details for the evening, from tuxedos, dinner plans and flowers to prom dresses, hair stylings and after-prom plans.

But as nervous as you are about the prom, your parents are much worse off.

They want to give you the responsibility of making your own choices, yet they are seriously worried about your safety. For many students, prom night is the first time your parents allow you out the whole night. Even if your parents have gone through this with older siblings, your prom night brings the same fears. Why? Consider the following statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • During the 2000 prom season, there were 1,364 traffic fatalities in the U.S. on those prom weekends.
  • Of those fatalities, 803, or almost 60% were alcohol related

Of course your parents want you to have a great and memorable evening, but ensuring your safety is often their paramount concern. So how can you set their mind at ease?

First and foremost, communicate with them about your plans. Let them know where you'll be and whom you will be with.

One of the details that can make or break your prom experience is transportation. Looking for a way to help put your parents' minds at ease? Read through this site with your parents, understand the Positive Choices you have to getting home alive, then commit to the Positive Promise and ask your parents to do the same.

Think on Prom Night

If your date or a friend is driving, be sure he or she doesn't drink any alcohol. Alcohol impairs your thinking, coordination, and vision. And despite what you may believe, 81% of students ages 12 to 17 have chosen not to drink in the past year according to a government report. You don't have to drink alcohol to fit in.

If you are put in a position where your friend is too impaired to drive - have a plan. Use the Positive Choices and call a friend, family member, or even a taxi. If it's late, call home and just stay put.

If you plan to use a limousine for the night, you're not off the hook from the dangers of alcohol. Alcohol consumption is illegal for anyone under 21 years of age. And for young people, binge drinking is especially dangerous.

Prom nights are about friendship and good times. Look out for your friends on prom night. Ask them to look out for you. And tell them about the Positive Choices and Positive Promise. Communicating and understanding the deadly combination of underage drinking and impaired driving will help everyone have a safe and memorable evening - including your parents.


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