NJ Officials Remind Students To Stay Safe & Sober During Prom And Graduation Seasons

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TRENTON — As part of an ongoing campaign by New Jersey’s Divisions of Alcoholic Beverage Control and Highway Traffic Safety, Attorney General Paula T. Dow, Alcoholic Beverage Control Director Jerry Fischer and Highway Traffic Safety Acting Director Gary Poedubicky today reminded students that prom and graduation seasons are meant to be enjoyed while staying safe and sober.

“As the chief law enforcement officer for the state, I too often hear about the devastating impact of underage drinking,” Dow said. “As the mother of two sons, including a high school junior, I understand the importance of keeping alcohol out of the hands of those under the age of 21.”

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“With prom season upon us and graduation season fast approaching, it’s important for teens to remember that they should celebrate these milestones in their lives while staying away from alcohol,” Fischer said.

Fischer added that involving alcohol with prom and graduation festivities can have dire consequences, including physical, emotional and legal ramifications. Possession of alcohol while under the legal age is a disorderly person’s offense, and penalties could include fines of at least $500 as well as a six-month suspension of a driver’s license.

“During prom and graduation season, in particular, teens often have a sense of invincibility, which can lead to the fatal mistake of getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated, or getting into a car with someone who has been drinking,” Poedubicky said. “That one wrong decision can result in tragic consequences that can last a lifetime.”

Fischer also announced today that the winning public service announcement in the 2010-2011 “Proms and Alcohol Don’t Mix” contest is now airing on cable stations throughout New Jersey. Begun in 2007, the contest fosters dialogue among high school students about the dangers of underage drinking.

Under the program, high school seniors are asked to develop scripts for a 30-second television public service announcement. All scripts must include the message, “Proms and Alcohol Don’t Mix.” Selected from 45 entries, this year’s winning script was written by Kimberly Etzin, Angela DePaola, Allison Lotito, Alexandria Sprenger and Taylor Sisti, seniors at Pascack Valley High School in Hillsdale. The winning script was then made into a public service announcement, which can be seen at: http://www.nj.gov/oag/abc/annual-psa-contest.html.

The grand prize winners, the runners-up, and their teachers, will be recognized at a ceremony in Trenton on June 1.

“Proms and Alcohol Don’t Mix” PSA Contest Runners-Up and Honorable Mentions:

1st RUNNER UP
Woodstown High School (Woodstown Borough): Korryn Vass

2nd RUNNER UP
Pascack Valley High School (Hillsdale Borough): Kenya Golston, Brenda Gorelik and Carly Meyerowitz

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Overbrook Senior High School (Pine Hill Borough): Beth Wash, Jen Stone, Kerri Jewell, Dominick Dominello, Kevin Fought, Laurie Seifert, Sarmin Rema, Monty Johnson, Charlotte Navrot, Brandon Crowther, Nija Williams, Pam Navrot, Taylor Del Rossi and Phil Dawson

Cedar Grove High School (Cedar Grove Township): Steve Raum, Mike Vega and Todd Schoenfield

Essex County Vocational School (Newark): Tanaisha Patterson, Lionel Poneys, Jeilee Gonzalez and Khari Faison

John P. Stevens High School (Edison Township): Janani Kumar, Jiwon Kim, Aqsa Hussain, Chhavi Saxena, Arkee Patel, Jackie Patel and Hayley Silverman


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