From the Desk of Legislator Judy Jacobs

Open Discussion Can Ensure Your Child's Safety During Prom Season

Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) is cautioning community parents to be mindful of laws and regulations that could affect their child’s behavior as it pertains to safety, especially with regard to alcohol consumption now that prom season is around the corner. Prom night or prom weekend can be a time of great excitement for our teenage children, however being caught drunk or carrying alcohol can ruin this memorable experience. Parents must be aware that the distribution of alcohol to minors in their home is illegal. The Social Host Liability Law makes no exceptions, and this includes pre-prom parties.  "Parents must remember that we are responsible for our children's conduct,” said Legislator Jacobs. We must know what their prom plans include especially where they are going, what time and how they are coming home." Legislator Jacobs added, "It is against the law to serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 21, and that includes your home. Parents who fail to obey this law will be prosecuted. Ignorance is no excuse."

To ensure that it will be enjoyable time free from accidents, Legislator Jacobs recommends that parents do the following:

Familiarize yourselves with school rules for the prom. Do school rules apply to any off-site activity?

Discuss all possible negative behavior your child may confront especially drug and alcohol abuse. Make sure they know how to avoid dangerous social situations and what to do if they face these dangers.

Discuss prom night/dating guidelines and proper conduct. Review transportation plans. Be comfortable with how your child is getting to events and safely back home.

Understand who is driving and be comfortable with their driving reputation. Determine how many passengers will be in the vehicle.

Make sure your child contacts you if the plans change.

Encourage them to call you if a dangerous or uncomfortable situation arises or if they need transportation home.

Remind them you are always available for them. Their safety comes first!

By talking with your child ahead of time to discuss these steps you can ensure a safe and enjoyable prom season.