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Getting your teen safely to prom

One of the milestones for teens is their high school prom. Charter party buses and limos are still the classiest way to travel, but they aren't always a possibility in some locations. Uber and Lyft are possibilities now. Other prom-goers will simply drive themselves.

Instead of prom activities occurring in one location, today they can often end up in various locations. Research has shown that over 90 percent of teens believe that their friends and classmates will drink and drive on this important night. However, only 29 percent believe that there is an increased risk of danger on prom night.

One survey showed that one out of every 10 teens rode with someone who had been drinking on prom night. In Glen Rock, New Jersey, as well as in other cities, the cost is transportation is included in prom ticket prices. That means any teen going to and from prom is required to take a charter bus -- complete with chaperone.

One student who attends a suburban Chicago school said that she is required to ride luxury charter buses to prom and to any post-prom event.

An owner of a large limo company that operates in New Jersey, Philadelphia and New York City said that prom season is one of the busiest times of year, making up about 30 to 35 percent of his total business.

A researcher at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety said that a survey done by Students against Destructive Decisions and Liberty Mutual showed that having three or more passengers in a vehicle becomes a distraction. By limiting the number of people who ride together, it may be possible to limit the possibility of a driver getting into a wreck while he or she is distracted.

New Jersey is a zero tolerance state, which means that no one under the age of 21 can possess, purchase or consume alcoholic beverages. The penalties can range from a fine of $500 to losing your driver's license for six months. If you or a loved one are facing such penalties for underage drinking, it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side. He or she can provide you with information on your legal options.

Source: The Press of Atlantic City, "How will your teen get to prom?," Associated Press, April 27, 2016

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