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Summit County prom-goers urged to stay safe tonight

Caddie Nath
Summit Daily News

For high schoolers, it’s the culmination of months of planning. Dresses are tailored, dinner reservations made, tuxes rented and photos taken. And finally, prom night has arrived.

As Summit High School upperclassmen finalize last-minute plans and begin getting ready for the big night, their parents and educators can only hope they’ll make smart and safe decisions.

The Summit High administration, along with the Summit Prevention Alliance and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office spent the week reminding teens of the risk of drinking and driving, always, but especially on prom night.

“We just want them to understand the responsibilities involved in operating a motor vehicle and to be aware of the dangers of drinking and driving,” sheriff’s deputy Rebecca Johnson said. “We don’t ever want any of our kids to become a statistic.”

Together, the community put together an interactive outreach effort at the high school, teaching and showing kids impacts of alcohol on drivers.

The Colorado State Patrol’s Alive at 25 program brought in a driving simulator, allowing students to feel the effects of various road conditions and levels of intoxication. Kids also had a chance to try out a crash test simulator – which re-creates the sensation of a vehicle accident at 5 miles per hour – and alcohol impairment goggles while attempting to make it through an obstacle course. A sheriff’s patrol cruiser totaled in March by a suspected drunk driver was also on display at the high school, so students could see the damage that can result from driving under the influence.

The school also covered the tough topics with students earlier in the week, through a series of group sessions.

“We talked about … self-fulfilling prophecies, self pride and choices,” principal Drew Adkins said. “(And about) supporting one another and helping others make good choices in circumstances where there might be challenges, like a prom weekend.”

Parents, staff and local law enforcement will be on-hand at tonight’s event at the Silverthorne Pavilion to ensure students are safe and supervised.

“For any school event, on or off campus, high school event and all high school policies and rules apply,” Adkins said, but he added that Summit high students usually make good choices.

Driving conditions could be slick tonight, as snow is likely all day and could continue into the evening.


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