SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

May 9, 2014

Letter: Preparing for prom

To the editor:

The Danvers High School junior prom was Friday, May 2, at the DoubleTree in Danvers, and the senior prom is on Friday, May 16, at the New England Aquarium in Boston.

We want everyone attending the proms to have a terrific time and make smart decisions. As you may be aware, DanversCARES recently launched the iChoose campaign, which is an easy way to show that our choices make a big difference in our lives today and in the future.

During this time of celebration, the Danvers Police Department is focused on supporting the youth of Danvers, while doing what we can to try to keep them safe. Some of our activities include:

Sending letters to local hotels and motels to let them know the dates of the proms and remind them not to rent rooms to minors.

Informing local package stores and restaurants with liquor licenses that underage sale of alcohol increases at this time of year and remind them of the penalties involved with selling alcohol to minors.

Having a police officer at Danvers High School before the buses leave for prom. Everyone attending prom will be given a Breathalyzer to ensure they have not been drinking.

We would also like to remind parents and other adults of the social host liability laws in Massachusetts that come with stiff penalties for anyone allowing minors to drink in their home, whether they supply the alcohol or even know it is being consumed. It is every homeowner’s responsibility to know what is happening in their home.

The best way to help your teens make good decisions is to talk with them. Make sure they understand your rules and expectations, know the locations of post-prom parties, and let your child know that if they are in an uncomfortable situation, you will come to get them with no questions asked.

We hope that everyone attending one of these celebrations will choose to have a safe and sober prom.

Neil F. Ouellette

Chief of Police

Danvers

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