Home > It's A Legal Matter > Prom night

Prom night

By Jeff Terrill

Fort Wayne Reader

2016-04-21


Meet Mary. She’s a responsible mother of two well-adjusted teenagers.

Mary and her husband, Mark, are hosting a post prom party for their son Jason. Mary and Mark decided that the best way to keep their son safe on prom night was to keep him close. They rented a large tent for the backyard that covers the dance floor, food tables and stage for the band they hired. They are expecting around a hundred guests. Mark even borrowed one of his neighbor’s golf carts to take guests to and from their parking spots along the street. Mary, Mark and Jason are not real people.

Mark and Mary are making it very clear to all in attendance that only the parents will be allowed to drink. To help ensure the kids behave, they hired a police officer.

Early in the evening, Mary and Mark spend a few minutes with their son Justin and his prom date. They remind him about the dangers of drinking and driving. Jason promises his parents that he will not drink or do anything dangerous. Mary and Mark trust Justin.

A few minutes after Justin and his date leave for the prom, Mary and Mark’s friends start to arrive. The band starts warming up and the drinks start to flow. Mary, Mark and their friends are having a blast—they dance, they drink and they eat. By the time Justin and his friends arrive after the prom, Mary and some of the other adults have had several drinks.

Wanting to welcome the kids to their after prom party, Mary jumps in the golf cart and heads out to the street. She waives to the police officer standing in her driveway as she scoots by him. Mary sees a group of Justin’s friends walking in the street. Mary tells all six kids to hop in the golf cart. Some are standing in the back and holding on for dear life as Mary drives them to the backyard.

After the kids get out of the golf cart, Mary’s best friend jumps in and Mary starts driving around the backyard. Normally a safe, responsible person, Mary begins to drive the golf cart even faster. She and her friend are laughing as Mary drives the golf cart in circles around a group of bushes. Some of the adults are cheering on her bad driving. Mary is moments away from slamming the golf cart into a tree.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 2700 kids ranging in age from sixteen to nineteen will die each year in the U.S. from injuries sustained in traffic accidents. Seven kids in that age range die each day in car crashes. Over half of all driving related teen fatalities occur on the weekend.

Mary and her best friend aren’t kids. They are in their forties. They have good jobs, rarely drink and are usually very careful people. Mary got caught up in the moment.

Do more than just trust that your teenager will make good decisions during the prom/graduation season. Teenagers can really get caught up in the moment.

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Jeff Terrill is a partner/shareholder with the law firm of Arnold Terrill Anzini, P.C. Mr. Terrill represents clients accused of crimes throughout northeast Indiana. You can contact Mr. Terrill with any questions or comments at his office at 260.420.7777 or via email at jterrill@fortwaynedefense.com. Learn more about his firm at www.fortwaynedefense.com. This article expressed opinions and observations of the author, is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader. Please consult a qualified attorney with any legal questions or issues you might have. Thank you

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