Marijuana drug impairment

Press Release: Impaired Driving Endangers NoCo Teens on Prom Night

****  For Immediate Release  ****

Impaired Driving Endangers NoCo Teens on Prom Night

April 5, 2024

Fort Collins, Colorado – As prom season arrives in April and May, No DUI Larimer is sounding the alarm on the dangers of teen impaired driving. While prom is a time for celebration and creating lasting memories, it is also a time when many young people engage in risky behaviors, particularly driving under the influence.


According to recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), prom night sees a significant increase in alcohol-related accidents involving teenagers. One-third of alcohol-related teen traffic fatalities in 2019 occurred during prom season, between April and June. The combination of excitement, peer pressure, and the desire to celebrate often leads to poor decision-making, putting not only the lives of the young drivers at risk but also those of their passengers and other road users.

In addition to alcohol, impaired driving can also result from other substances, including marijuana and prescription drugs. It is crucial for parents and educators to address all forms of impairment and emphasize the importance of making safe choices.

Pop culture romanticizes drinking or getting high with friends post-prom as part of the complete prom experience. And while we know 39% of teens think it’s “likely” their friends will drink or use drugs on prom night (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety), the goal of No DUI Larimer is to keep anyone who is impaired off the road.

As prom season arrives, everyone has a role to play in keeping our teens safe. By working together to raise awareness and promote responsible behavior, we can help ensure that prom night is a time of celebration, not tragedy.

Prom Season Teen Impaired Driving Statistics


  • Statistics show that roughly one-third of alcohol-related teen traffic fatalities occur between April and June — the peak of prom and graduation season.
  • According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens — roughly 25% of teen crashes involve an underage drinking driver.
  • Between 2010 and 2021, documented marijuana-related crashes rose 475% and car crashes due to drunk driving grew 9.4%.
  • Drivers who mix alcohol and marijuana greatly increase their chance of an accident, because marijuana and alcohol together have “multiplicative effects” on impairment.
  • Colorado drivers under age 35 were more likely to say they drank and used cannabis together (14%) than older drivers (6%) in a 2023 CDOT survey.
  • Drivers under age 45 were more likely to drive within 2 hours of using cannabis (14%) than older drivers (5%).
  • More than 85% of teens say they or their peers are likely to drive impaired instead of calling their parents for help because they are afraid of getting in trouble. Just 21% of teens have called their parents to pick them up because they or their driver was impaired.

How Parents Can Keep Teens Safe on Prom Night

Hire a ride – A limo ride is a special addition to prom night and ensures teens, who are already excited and distracted, won’t drive impaired.


Talk about rules – Talk to your teen before prom night about expectations and road safety, and come up with a plan in case they find themselves in a tricky situation. Start with the CDC’s Teen Driving Contract for a list of talking points.


Keep your home open – Let your teen know your house is home base for them and their friends on prom night; bonus if you have snacks, beverages, movies, and/or games.


Set an example – Always drive responsibly; your teen is watching you.


About No DUI Larimer

No DUI Larimer is working to get the word out about the dangers and consequences of teen impaired driving and offering solutions and tips on how to avoid or curb the effects on the greater community. No DUI Larimer, a coalition and campaign born out of the need to address the problem of impaired driving in Larimer County and Northern Colorado, is working to prevent driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances. This project is a joint effort between law enforcement, government agencies, alcohol and cannabis retailers, local nonprofits, and community members, working together to encourage the general public to “Make the Call” to end impaired driving.


No DUI Larimer is focusing on prevention efforts – education, tools, and messaging for groups and individuals who tend to risk driving regularly with elevated BACs, and who are involved in a higher number of alcohol-related crashes. Studies have shown that young people, ages 16-24, tend to have the highest number of drivers involved in DUI/DWI crashes with a BAC at or above legal intoxication levels and are the most likely group to drive within 2 hours of consuming cannabis (Colorado Department of Transportation). The goal of the next arm of the No DUI campaign is to reduce the number of DUI/DWI related crashes with this age group at the wheel.


No DUI encourages all citizens to remain vigilant and to plan ahead when consuming alcohol. If you are the designated driver, make a commitment to 100% sobriety to keep you, your friends, and your family safe.


If you see an impaired driver on the road, please “Make the Call” and contact local law enforcement (911) immediately.

Remember: If you feel different, you drive different.

 NO DUI Larimer Mission:

The No DUI Larimer coalition and campaign was born out of the need to address the problem of impaired driving in our community. The goal is to prevent driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances by increasing community responsibility for safe and responsible driving.

 Our campaign is encouraging the public to “Make the Call” to end impaired driving in our community. Make the Call to get a safe ride home. Make the Call about whether you should get behind the wheel, and Make the Call to report suspected impaired drivers. Driving under the influence IS an emergency – please call 911 if you see someone you suspect is driving impaired.

Partners, who absorbed this project from the former nonprofit, Team Wellness & Prevention, is the lead agency on this five-year project. Partners has engaged a steering committee and named the project NO DUI LARIMER.

Contact: Heather Vesgaard, Executive DirectorPartners


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