BAY SPRINGS, MS (WDAM) - Prom night is a celebratory moment for teens, but when alcohol and drugs along with texting and driving enter the picture, the consequences can be devastating.
Jasper County first responders and students from the several schools in the area were on hand for a “Prom Promise,” a dramatic mock crash event held at Bay Springs High School on Tuesday. The presentation was designed to discourage drinking and driving especially during prom nights.
The students witnessed the chaotic crash scene filled with the sounds of sirens as police and fire trucks arrived followed by an ambulance. Victims were seen bloodied and confused and some who weren’t moving at all, who were supposedly deceased. Student-actors played both drunk drivers and the victims during of the mock crash.
Jasper County Sheriff Randy Johnson said the students should always take responsibility for their safety and well-being into their own hands and not be swayed by peer pressure.
“We just want them to know how serious drinking and driving can be, and even if you’re not the one drinking, you need to be responsible." Johnson said, “You need to take action if you suspect a driver that’s been drinking or texting while driving.”
The statistics are sobering:
- Approximately 300 teens have died in alcohol-related traffic accidents during prom weekends over the past several years, according to the NHTSA.
- Statistics show that roughly one-third of alcohol-related teen traffic fatalities occur between April and June – the peak of prom and graduation season.
- A survey of teens aged 16-19, published by AAA , found that 31% to 41% of teens said that it was likely that they or their friends would use drugs or alcohol on prom night.
- A small amount of alcohol can affect driving ability.
- Even though more teens are involved in fatal traffic accidents related to alcohol during prom season, the majority of high school aged students don’t seem to recognize how dangerous it actually is.
Parents today face some unique challenges when it comes to their kids and the tackling alcohol issue is one of them. Law enforcement encourages parents and their kids to communicate before, during and after prom to insure that it’s a memorable event for all the right reasons.