While proms themselves might be alcohol-free, the parties before and afterwards tend to be magnets for underage drinking and drug use which can in turn lead to teens driving while intoxicated.
One program in Rhode Island is working to show teens just how risky driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be so they can stop their behavior before they hurt themselves or others.
Reducing Youthful Dangerous Driving (RYDD), a program administered through the Injury Prevention Center at Rhode Island Hospital, aims to reduce alcohol and drug-related offenses such as reckless and aggressive driving by young adult offenders. The state courts refer 16 to 20 year olds that have been cited for traffic violations-from a speeding ticket to drunk driving-to the RYDD program.
Program participants must attend two group sessions to talk about driving laws, speak with police officers and review the dangers of their offense, volunteer during two nighttime weekend shifts in the emergency department of Rhode Island Hospital, process the visit with counselors and write an essay about their experience for their judge
"Since weekend nights are the busiest time to see the types of injuries that can occur as a result of dangerous driving, teens have a chance see what may happen if they continue their risky behavior," says Lucy Whitford, RYDD program coordinator at the Injury Prevention Center. "The program has a powerful impact on teens as they see, from a sober perspective, the dangers of being intoxicated or high."
Do you know where your teen is?Underage drinking and drug use