Law enforcement watches for teen drinking during prom season

Keeping kids from drinking

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Prom season has hit the Grand Strand, with 5 different high schools holding dances Thursday night alone. As teens prepare for the big night, law enforcement is preparing to curb teen drinking.

"They're aware of the proms," said Sgt. Jeff Benton with the Horry County Sheriff's Office. "I can tell you they'll have increased enforcement in those areas."

Every year, officers say there's an increase in underage drinking around prom season, either by choice or peer pressure. Schools are stressing safety to their students, but some say they're still hearing plans about parties.

"On Monday, my social studies teacher said be safe, be smart, and don't do anything stupid," said Loris High student Taylor Norris. "I've heard people talk about parties. I told them just to be safe."

Some groups are trying to curb teen drinking, like Horry CAST, a coalition which Sgt. Benton helps run.

"If you're underage, it's illegal," he said. "Don't do it."

The campaign by the CAST Coalition stresses safety, but underage drinking also brings with it a myriad of legal problems. Sgt. Benton says the costs that come with the choice to drink just aren't worth it.

"You could get 30 days in jail," he said. "You could lose your driver's license for up to four months."

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.