The Coast News Group

Local teens partner with Friar Tux to promote sober proms

Above: NCPYC members from Oceanside High School, from left to right, Lilibeth Leon, Jenny Lopez, Nadia Rodriguez, Madison Matella, Gabriel, and Alma Cuevas, inside of Friars Tux Shop in Vista.

VISTA — Students from the North Coastal Prevention Youth Coalition are partnering with Friar Tux Shop in Vista to promote safe and sober proms and keep their peers safe.

The effort is modeled after a campaign that began last year by the North Inland Community Prevention Program and Damari’s Boutique in Escondido.

A colorful flyer is attached to rented tuxedos that feature a “Prom Checklist” and “Just In Case Contacts” with reminders to ‘skip the booze or drugs,’ and ‘remember Social Host Laws.’

The flyer also includes phone numbers in case of a mental health crisis, and an anonymous tip line to report any underage drinking, alcohol poisoning, or other challenging situations students might face.

Cesar Flores, a manager at Friars Tux Shop, partnered with members from Rancho Buena Vista High School and Oceanside High School to help prevent underage drinking and alcohol-related deaths and injuries.

NCPYC members from Rancho Buena Vista High School, Isaac Jimenez (far left), Ian Leary (center) and Connor Flanagan (far right) in front of Friars Tux Shop in Vista. Courtesy photo

According to student surveys, underage drinking has been declining over the past 10 years, but alcohol continues to be the most common substance abused by minors.

The campaign serves as a reminder to the public that the drinking age is 21, and allowing underage drinking is against the law.

Social host laws hold party hosts responsible if minors consume alcohol at their events.  Hosts can be cited/arrested, fined up to $1,000 or more, serve up to 6 months in jail, and billed for law enforcement services.

Youth coalition members from other schools plan to expand the campaign to other businesses in the region, as well as distribute the flyer online through their schools.  Prom season goes through June 1, with proms scheduled on the following dates:

  • Vista High school- Saturday 5/18
  • Carlsbad High School- Saturday 5/18
  • El Camino High School- Saturday 5/25
  • Oceanside High School- Saturday 6/1
  • Sage Creek High School- Saturday 6/1

The North Coastal Prevention Coalition urges parents to have pre-prom conversations with their teens to inform them that there is no safe setting for underage drinking, and assure them that most teens don’t use alcohol or drugs.