Parents should be wary of drinking and driving on prom night

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For teenagers, the most exciting and anticipated time of the year will soon be upon them. Prom season is something that adolescents look forward to for months. The annual night of giltz, glamour and fun is a tradition like no other, as many teens make memories that will be remembered for a lifetime. With all the hype the comes with the prom, the use of alcohol can create tragic moments that will ruin a good time.

Indeed, distracted driving continues to be a dangerous problem for teen drivers, but alcohol use should not be dismissed as purely a problem for college students. In fact, a Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) survey presents some compelling information about underage drinking by teen drivers.

As you might already know, few teens will openly admit to using alcohol before getting behind the wheel, and the survey bore that truth. After all, many teens are unwilling to admit to some of their vices out of fear of being charged with a crime. Fewer than 10 percent surveyed actually admitted drinking and driving. With that said, it is very likely that more teens are driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Nevertheless, underage drinking is very important issue considering the driving habits that most teens are known for. Alcohol can lower a teen's inhibitions and impede their motor skills. The combination of taking unreasonable and dangerous risks with compromised motor skills is a tragedy waiting to happen, especially given that teens regularly drive above the speed limit and bow to peer pressure.

We all know that underage drinking is a crime. There are criminal penalties for these infractions, but teens (or their parents) can also possibility be held civilly liable for the injuries and property damage caused in a crash. An injured party is entitled to obtain money damages for pain, suffering and any lost wages stemming from the crash

Because of this, parents and teens should have frank and honest conversations about alcohol and the consequences they may face well before they go off to prom.

The preceding is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.

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