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Prom Pomise 2024


Annual message against drunk driving hits home with students

By Ralph Hardin

If you heard sirens or saw a helicopter overhead Thursday morning in West Memphis, don’t be alarmed.

That was the Arkansas State Police and local emergency responders presenting a mock drunk-driving crash to a group of high school seniors ahead of one of the most iconic nights of the senior year: Prom Night.

The carnage may have been staged but the message was very real: making the decision to drink and drive, on Prom Night or any other night, can have consequences that impact you for the rest of your life — or even end it.

This sobering message was part of the Prom Promise initiative, launched more than 30 years ago by the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving. MADD encouraged students to sign a pledge not to drink and drive and to always wear a seat belt.

The demonstration doesn’t skimp on the details, including a cast of student actors and parents who show the aftermath of a drunk-driving crash, complete with blood, arrests, an airlift and the reactions that come from witnessing such an event.

From the Academies of West Memhpis: Thank you to the West Memphis Fire Department, West Memphis Police Department, Arkansas State Troopers, Emergency Medical Services and Crittenden County Sherriff’s Office for your dedication to educating our students concerning their safety and welfare and how it impacts an entire community. Thank you to the program coordinators as well as student and parent volunteers in the planning, preparation and execution of this important event. Parents and friends, please discuss with your children the significance of driving sober and coming home safe and unharmed.

Locally, no vehicular crashes were reported on Prom Night.

Photo courtesy of WMSD

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