Prom season is right around the corner in Bloomington-Normal, a night teens want to look back on and cherish for years to come. Parents in town want teens to have a safe and fun prom night and alcohol can get in the way of that.
Talking to your teen about alcohol is important, especially around prom season. Not only is underage drinking dangerous for developing adolescent brains and the community as a whole, there are also some serious legal consequences that can occur when it happens. As a parent you should know anyone providing alcohol or a space to drink for underage students, under Illinois Social Host Law, can receive a minimum $500 fine and Class A misdemeanor charge as well as a possible Class IV felony charge if a teen is seriously injured. And teens themselves, under Illinois Zero Tolerance Laws, can lose their license if they drive after consuming any amount of alcohol.
Having this talk can seem intimidating, but let your teen know that although it seems like everyone is drinking on prom night that is just not the case. The American Automobile Association or AAA found that nearly 70% of adolescents say it is not likely that they will drink on prom night. It can also be helpful to set up an itinerary of your teen’s night so you know where they will be, what they will be doing, and who they will be with. But remember, the most helpful thing you can do for your teenager is to remind them of how much you love them, and that you trust their judgment.
Article developed by Markita Jenkins, Prevention Intern, Chestnut Health Systems