With area schools holding their proms and post-prom events within the next month, local law enforcement departments are stepping up DUI patrols throughout their communities. Police will saturate areas around each prom and post-prom site in an effort to cut down on potential alcohol and drug use, with a zero-tolerance policy toward the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages. In addition, those who provide alcohol to minors will be targeted and jailed.
Underage drinking is the number one youth drug problem in the nation, killing 6.5 times more young people than all the illicit drugs combined. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that one-third of all teen deaths occur in the prom and graduation season, with more than 376 teen deaths reported in 2005 on their prom night.
In Starke County, the Knox High School will be holding their prom on Saturday, April 27, while North Judson will host their prom on May 18 at Christo’s Banquet Center in Plymouth. Oregon-Davis High School has announced they will hold their prom on May 3 at the Plymouth Country Club.
In Pulaski County, the prom for Winamac High School students will take place Saturday at the Culver Cove and West Central High School students will attend their prom on May 11 at Pine View in Monticello.
Marshall County law enforcement will also be stepping up their patrols as Culver High School students attend prom May 4. Plymouth High School will be hosting their prom on Saturday, April 27 at the Century Center.
In St. Joseph County, the prom for John Glenn High School will be held May 4 at the Swan Lake Resort. La Porte County will also be increasing their enforcement during the upcoming prom season, with West Central High School holding their prom on April 27 and La Porte High School’s prom on May 18. The La Porte County DUI Taskforce will saturate the area, deterring alcohol use and eliminating alcohol-related crashes among La Porte County high school prom attendees.
La Porte County Sheriff Michael Mollenhauer stated that his department is pleased that for 10 consecutive years, no La Porte County prom attendee has been injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash.
In an effort to keep children safe, the La Porte County DUI Task Force is offering several suggestions for parents: take an inventory of alcohol in their home and secure it if necessary, do not rent hotel rooms for prom-goers, make a pact with their children to provide a safe ride with no questions asked, ensure their children take a cellphone to the prom and post-prom and require regular check-ins, consider hosting an alcohol-free post-prom party, and discuss their children’s plans ahead of time to ensure an agenda is made and adhered to.