Operation Safe Prom aims to prevent underage drinking

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - County law enforcement and school officials are working together to make sure this prom season is as safe as possible.

Operation Safe Prom is a countywide effort launched to prevent alcohol-related deaths and injuries, as well as underage drinking, as local high schoolers attend prom.

DUI checkpoints, roving DUI patrols and stepped-up enforcement of social host laws will take place throughout the county as part of Operation Safe Prom.

RELATED: California Underage Drinking Laws | County Social Host Ordinances

Program officials said: "During prom and graduation season, local communities typically experience an increase in drunk driving incidents and collisions involving young, impaired drivers. Local hospitals also typically notice a spike in emergency room discharges for underage alcohol abuse during this time of year. The goal of Operation Safe Prom is to prevent alcohol-related problems through high visibility enforcement efforts and to inform residents that police are planning to aggressively enforce social host laws that prohibit anyone - adults or minors - from hosting underage drinking parties. Since 2002, local law enforcement agencies have issued nearly 500 misdemeanor social host citations. Violators face up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, plus additional costs related to law enforcement response."

RELATED: Things to help parents keep kids safe at prom

Numerous studies indicate underage drinking is a serious public health issue in San Diego County. Nearly two-thirds of 11th graders say it's "fairly easy" or "very easy" to obtain alcohol, according to the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS).

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