Many young people celebrate the end of their school careers by attending supervised, alcohol free prom events organised through their schools. Past experience has shown that some young people have put themselves in vulnerable positions at ‘after proms parties’. Many of these events are unsupervised by adults and alcohol is often freely available. Too much alcohol can lead to hospital admissions or people worse for drink being left alone in vulnerable situations.
We want young people to celebrate and enjoy themselves. However, the support of parents is needed to ensure that they do so safely and we ask that parents follow some common sense guidelines:
- If you do supply alcohol, either for use by your child or for others to consume (we would advise that you don’t), be sensible about what you do supply. Some types of drink are a lot stronger than others. There is no recommended safe measure of alcohol for those under 18 years. It takes a young person much longer to process alcohol and to sober up than an adult.
- Know exactly where they are and how/when they are getting home. Arrange to collect them at a set place and time. They are your children and you are still responsible for their welfare.
- Ensure they know that they should always be in the company of their friends. Also that they do not leave a drunken friend alone and vulnerable.
- Make sure they know how to call for help if they are in any kind of trouble. The emergency services are there to help and they won’t get into trouble for asking for help when it’s needed. They should dial 999 for an ambulance or police attendance in an emergency.
- When booking taxis make sure that only correctly licensed vehicles and drivers are used. Whether the vehicles are private hire or hackney, they should be licensed by the local authority as this is the public’s guarantee that the vehicle and driver have passed a strict vetting procedure and are therefore fit for purpose and are properly insured.
- Stretch limos add glamour and fun to the evening but beware as few are registered correctly with the appropriate authority. A reputable and genuine operator will readily provide details of the licensing authority and their private hire operator’s licence number. It is the driver’s responsibility not to exceed the permitted total number of passengers and he or she should refuse to carry any extra ones. There is a plate on the vehicle detailing the maximum number of passengers that can be carried. Being in an overcrowded vehicle is not only uncomfortable but dangerous for the vehicle, its passengers and other road users. It may also invalidate the vehicle’s insurance.