Prom season is here, graduation is coming up and summer break is not too far away. These are all events that may also involve underage drinking and underage DUI. While many teens may think of prom and believe that most of their peers are driving under the influence of alcohol, a 2009 report by Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and Liberty Mutual insurance has found that a very small number of students drive while intoxicated following prom.
According to a recent article published by U.S. News & World Report, when teens were surveyed as to how many of their peers they believed would drive while intoxicated following prom, 90 percent of teens thought that their peers would drink and drive. In reality, only 6 percent of students surveyed said that they drove while drunk on the night of prom.
According to the piece in U.S. News & World Report, students are discouraged from drinking and driving when they are required to take a breathalyzer test to enter prom, when there is a police presence around prom events and when schools also sponsor after-prom events.
Teens tend to think that their peers are doing more than they are actually doing. Experts say the key is to help teens' perceptions better match with reality. Anyone involved in public safety and education or invested in the health of students would say that six percent of students admitting to drinking while driving is too much. It is much less, however, than most people think, especially other teens. As for the other events, more teens admit to driving while intoxicated during summer breaks, or 12 percent.
Drunk Driving After Prom: Perception vs. Reality (U.S. News & World Report)