The Key to Prom Night – Plan Ahead
April is beginning of prom season in Collin County. It is important for parents to take the time to talk to their kids about the potential hazards associated with prom night and how to best respond to peer pressure.
Here are five topics to review with your teens before they head out on prom night.
1. Consumption of Alcohol and Drugs
Talk to your kids about getting caught with drugs or alcohol at a school event can affect their academic or athletic eligibility. Let them know that if they go to someone’s home or hotel room or even hanging out in the park when there are drugs — the police could arrest everyone. Even if someone’s parent purchases the alcohol for them, they are still breaking the law and could be in serious trouble.
Discuss who is driving that evening, whether your child or someone else, and make sure you are comfortable with that person as a driver. DWI charges can jeopardize your education, federal student aid, scholarships and loss of your license. Limo rentals and Uber are alternatives for parents to discuss with their kids before prom night as long as someone in the car is 18 (minors are not allowed to take an Uber or a Lyft unless they are accompanied by an adult per Uber and Lyft policies).
3. Sexual Consent
Alcohol, drugs and peer pressure can lead to teens making questionable or regrettable decisions when it comes to sexual contact. No means no, and if you take things too far or the other person is unable to give consent, you could end up facing sexual assault or rape charges. Talk to your teen about consent and what to do if they see a friend in a vulnerable position.
Even if it is just a prank, vandalism can result in the damage or destruction of property and they could be charged. If they damage school property, they can face upgraded charges of criminal damage to property. Remind your child that cameras are everywhere and if someone posts on social media that could be used against you.
5. After Midnight
Teens often want to celebrate prom long into the night hours, but if they are out driving around, they could be cited for a curfew violation. McKinney and Frisco both have curfew laws beginning at 12:01 AM, so make sure you know where your teens are heading after prom.
The Bottom Line
Talk to your teens about being careful on prom night. We want everyone to enjoy their evening out but acting foolish can have consequences. If things do get out of hand and you need a criminal defense attorney, know who to call ahead of time. Put the Rosenthal Barbieri number in your cell phone – (972) 369-0577. We are available for emergency calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.