MIAMI (CBS4) – It’s the night you never forget. It’s the culmination of four years of books, band practice and football games all celebrated in one night. It’s called prom night but for many students it’s a night to drink and sometimes get behind the wheel.
“A lot of kids do drink and drive and it causes a lot of accidents especially at prom because it’s that celebratory experience,” said BriAna Hartfield, a junior at Miami Jackson Senior High School.
This year Miami-Dade Schools Police are trying to make sure that kind of thing doesn’t happen. So they’ve teamed up with Trust Specialist and the Division of Alcohol, Beverages and Tobacco.
“One child drinking, driving and getting killed is too many,” said schools police Captain Manuel Arrebola.
To get their message across every student in Miami Dade County in the coming weeks will have to watch a special produced public service announcement showing them the consequences of drinking and driving. Also, any high school student in Miami Dade wants to buy a ticket to prom will have to take a pledge promising not to drink and drive on prom night.
“Something has to be done. I feel this is reaching out to juniors and seniors that will be participating in prom,” said James Jackson, a junior at Miami Jackson Senior High School.
Recently police even tested local grocery and liquor stores by sending teens inside to try and buy alcohol. If the store sold alcohol to the teen, the person who sold it would be arrested.
“Every time we go into a store to make a buy, half the time they’ll make a sale to a juvenile,” said Arrebola.
However, in their most recent test no store clerk or manager sold alcohol to the minors.
Police tell parents before their child steps out the door on prom night:
Discuss your child’s plans and set a curfew.
Encourage them to call you in unsafe situations.
Talk to the limo company about alcohol/drug policies.
Stay up until your child comes home.
With bright futures ahead of them, BriAna and James want to have many more fun nights like prom ahead of them.