The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office and La Porte County DUI Task Force are announcing that it will be increasing enforcement and patrols around prom and post-prom sites this spring. The goal is to deter alcohol use and eliminate alcohol related crashes among La Porte County High School Prom attendees.
Proms in La Porte County will begin May 1 and conclude June 4. Between these dates, Westville, La Porte, La Lumiere, Michigan City, Marquette, New Prairie, La Crosse and South Central High Schools will all conduct prom events. The Sheriff’s Office and DUI Task Force will saturate the areas around each prom and post-prom site to deter
potential alcohol and drug use. The Sheriff’s Office maintains a zero tolerance towards
the consumption and possession of alcoholic beverages by minors. Those and any others who provide alcohol to minors will be targeted and jailed as well. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the Centers for Disease Control say that teens are more likely than anyone else to be killed in an alcohol-related crash. In 2016, almost one out of five teenage drivers involved in fatal crashes
had consumed alcohol. Data shows that 16 percent of 15 to 18-year-old drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2016 had consumed alcohol. NHTSA also reports that in 2016, 818 teen (15 to 18-year-old) drivers and 569 passengers died in vehicles being driven by teen drivers.
“Prom is the most dangerous night of the year for teenagers”, states La Porte County Sheriff John T. Boyd. “It is not only a dangerous time for teenagers, but also a dangerous time for anyone who is driving. Our goal is to make the prom season safe, enjoyable and memorable for all.
The Sheriff’s Office has several suggestions for parents that may help their child remain safe at their prom:
Parents should take an inventory of alcohol in their home and secure it if necessary.
Parents should not rent hotel rooms for children.
Parents should make a pact with their children to provide a safe ride.
Parents should ensure that their children take their cellular telephone with them and require them to check in throughout the evening.
Parents should discuss their children’s plans in advance of the prom, so the exact plans are known ahead of time.
Prom-goers should have an agenda and their parents should require them to adhere to it.
Parents should know their child’s date before the prom and with whom they will be attending if double-dating.
Parents should exchange telephone numbers with the parents of their child’s date.
Parents should consider hosting an alcohol-free post prom party in which their child’s friends are welcome to spend the night.
Parents need to understand that alcohol is a drug, is not acceptable and illegal for those under the age of 21.
Parents should stay up for their children’s return home.
Sheriff Boyd added, “We are pleased that for seventeen (17) consecutive years, prior to last year’s cancellation of proms due to the pandemic, no La Porte County High School Prom attendee has been injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash and our goal remains the same this year. Our increased enforcement efforts will be an indication and send a message that we want La Porte County youth to be safe and to enjoy their prom.”