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Officers on Alert for DUI during Prom Season

With South Carolina teens gearing up for prom season, authorities in the Dorchester County area say they are increasing efforts to prevent juvenile crime associated with the parties. Most high school proms are occurring during the last weeks of April, according to media reports. Sheriff's deputies and other investigators say they are on high alert, encouraging students and parents to comply with the law throughout the festivities.

A large number of legal violations during prom season can be attributed to underage drinking and alcohol abuse. Officers are urging students to avoid alcohol altogether, especially if they plan to drive during the evening. Still, authorities recognize that teens are likely to experiment with alcohol despite these warnings, so they are stepping up DUI enforcement efforts accordingly.

Furthermore, teens who get behind the wheel before or after prom should know that officers are on the lookout for more than just alcohol consumption. Young drivers could be stopped for seatbelt violations, speeding, failure to yield and failure to observe traffic signals. Teens who are pulled over for these reasons may be even more vulnerable to DUI, even if officers did not initially suspect that they were drunk.

Ultimately, the Dorchester County Sheriff's Department representatives say they want teens to end the evening with pleasant memories and beautiful pictures; an arrest record or a car accident should not be included in this memorable event.

Teens who are caught drinking and driving could face severe consequences that could limit their ability to drive. Youngsters' licenses are often revoked until their 21st birthday, a situation that could make teens dependent on friends and family for transportation. As a young person, if you are facing charges for underage drinking or DUI, be sure to consult with a qualified attorney to determine your legal options. Juveniles who allegedly violate the law are entitled to many of the same protections afforded to their adult counterparts.

Source: Summerville Patch, "Deputies will be 'out in force' for prom," Lindsay Street, April 3, 2013.

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