Measures taken to ensure safe prom

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Sober Prom 2007

Erin Collins of Steamboat TV18 offers a video look at a dramatization put on by Steamboat Fire and Rescue called "Sober Prom 2007."

Erin Collins of Steamboat TV18 offers a video look at a dramatization put on by Steamboat Fire and Rescue called "Sober Prom 2007."

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Cindy Carlson helps set up for Saturday night's after-prom party, which will take place at the Steamboat Springs High School. The party will have a '50s theme.

— The most important message that school faculty, police officers, parents and community members want to send Steamboat Springs High School prom attendees is to be safe and make good choices tonight.

The Steamboat Springs Police Department teaches alcohol awareness classes at the school and will be on hand at the prom to facilitate the use of a Breathalyzer.

"I think that it's huge that (the Breathalyzer) came from the request of the students," said police Capt. Joel Rae. "I applaud them for stepping forward."

The Breathalyzer will be used randomly on students as they enter prom, throughout the evening and as they leave. It is an extra preventative measure used in addition to after-prom festivities and the sober-prom program.

All of the students at the high school assembled Thursday to watch a simulation of what kind of negative consequences can result from drinking and driving. Three students "died" in the scenario.

"We did a crash simulation, as well as court processing and sentencing," said Lucianne Myhre, leadership teacher and student council sponsor at the school. "The driver was sentenced to 24 years in jail."

After showing the film, students read letters written from the "dead" students who had the opportunity to say their goodbyes. Other students spoke about what they would miss out on if they spent 24 years in jail.

"It was kind of intense," Myhre said. "All we're asking is that they think about the choices they make, and if we can make one person make a different choice than they normally would, then we met our goal."

After-prom festivities will take place from midnight to 5 a.m. in the commons area at the high school. It is a safe and sober alternative venue for the students to attend after they leave the prom.

"There's going to be a hypnotist, dodge ball tournament, inflatable obstacle course, casino games, a tattoo parlor, food and various little games," said parent and after-prom planner Karen De Line. "The theme is 'Rockin' the Night Away' which is a 1950s theme, so we will also be playing movies like 'American Graffiti' and 'Grease.'"

The students have the opportunity to win large cash prizes, as well as items such as iPods, TVs, snowboards and Smith sunglasses that were donated by local businesses.

"It's always very well attended and we expect between 400 and 450 students," De Line said. "But once they come in, they can't go out and come back again."

The focus of the activities is to ensure a safe and special prom night for all the students.

"I don't want to catch anybody," Rae said. "I would love to get through the entire weekend without finding out that any kid drank."

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