It’s Your Prom! Have Fun, Be Safe


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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — Attending the prom is one of the highlights of high school.

While planning and enjoying the big night, smart decision making will help keep everyone safe.

If you or someone you know is going to the prom, here are a few tips offered by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department for a great experience.

  • Be on your guard this prom season; don’t drink and drive, be a defensive driver and report erratic drivers to 911 immediately. Adults, who provide alcohol to minors, run the risk of suffering the consequences with either hefty fines, possible jail time or both.
  • Sheriff Leon Lott stated that deputies will be on “Prom Safety Patrol” in an effort to make this prom season safe. If you know of parties that involve underage drinking or drugs you should report them immediately. 
  • If you see or hear of any underage parties in your area, we encourage you to call CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-888-CRIME-SC (888-274-6372). For more information about prom safety, prom patrols or to discuss your concerns please contact Sergeant Steven Reeves with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department Community Action Team, Lieutenant Danny Brown at (803) 309-5070 or
  • Use a Prom Safety Checklist:

Ask questions like…

  • Do you realize hosting an underage party where alcohol is accessible is illegal?
  • Do you realize if you supply alcohol to underage individuals you will be arrested?
  • Who will be doing the driving? Will they drive themselves or rent a limo?
  • If driving themselves, keep a list of names and phone numbers of each teen rider, along with names and addresses of all the parents. Insist that the car radio be kept at a low volume, limit the number of teen passengers to minimize distractions for the driver, and require each teen to wear a seatbelt.
  • Get a complete itinerary, including who your teen will be partying with, addresses and phone numbers for the prom location as well as any after-parties your teen plans to attend.
  • If your teen will be renting a limo, be sure to check the limo company’s driving record, and don’t be afraid to ask the company to provide it to you.
  • Does your teen know how to contact you throughout the evening? Consider arranging specific check-in times, and make sure you can contact your teen throughout the entire night.
  • Communicate with your teen specifically about how she would handle difficult situations such as being offered a ride by an intoxicated driver, being offered alcohol or drugs, or pressure to have sex. Be sure to provide parental instruction on how best to deal with problems that may arise.
  • Insist that there are to be no changes made to the itinerary without your prior approval, and make this a firm rule with no exceptions allowed.
  • Find out who will be supervising the prom and after-parties. Be sure to speak directly with any parents supervising after-parties your teen wishes to attend, since some parents may allow underage drinking, and may not have the same set of morals and values that you do.
  • Consider volunteering to assist in supervising the prom or after-parties your teen will attend, which will help ensure there are enough responsible adults watching over the partygoers.
  • Have very specific and detailed conversations with your teen about alcohol consumption, driving under the influence, drug use and sex, as peer pressure often leads teens to use poor judgment before, during and after prom.
  • Make sure your teen has phone numbers to trustworthy cab companies programmed into his cell phone, and plenty of money to cover the cost of a cab ride, if deemed necessary for any reason.
  • Will someone in the home wait up until the teen arrives back home safely? If so, who?
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