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Prom and Graduation Season Lead to an Increase in Drunk Driving Accidents

As the end of the school year approaches, students have several opportunities to celebrate. Getting together with friends at prom and graduation parties is one of the high points of summer. Most of these gatherings offer an opportunity to keep in touch after school is out, and will be memorable only for the good times that were shared.

Unfortunately, these parties also may present an opportunity for teens to drink. A study by Liberty Mutual Insurance reports that teens say it is 90 percent more likely for their friends to drive drunk on prom night. It is not uncommon for these drivers to be involved in car accidents, which may cause serious injuries or death.

Schools across Texas have given several presentations highlighting the dangers of drunk driving. Simulators show students what it is like to be driving while intoxicated, and how alcohol can severely impact a driver's reaction time.

While the focus on prevention has helped to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents, challenges still remain. Teens often may be pressured into drinking by other friends who are present, and may be reluctant to call their parents after drinking. Teen may fear the consequences of what could happen if they tell their parents that they have consumed alcohol.

Parents, friends and family members may also find themselves with legal concerns if they supply alcohol to a teen who is then involved in an accident. In additional to potential criminal penalties, the provider of the alcohol may also be facing liability for any injuries or damage caused by the drunk driver.

Source: KXAN.com "Drill drives message home ahead of prom" Jackie Vega, April 23, 2012

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