'Prom houses' can pose danger to students partying after prom

FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - As some Lowcountry families are getting their kids ready for prom weekend, there's something parents should know when it comes to what kids do afterwards.

"Prom houses" are homes rented out by parents for a weekend so kids can have a place to party after prom.

Some think it's a safer option, but Deputy Chief of Folly Beach Public Safety Rocky Burke said it may not be.

"It should be a safer alternative, but unfortunately you got a bunch of juveniles or adolescents partying and alcohol is present and drugs," said Burke.

Burke said there have been prom houses rented out the last few weekends at Folly Beach, and said by doing so it's illegal.

"Unfortunately, when they do go on a noise complaint, we do find some underage drinking and some drugs in the house sometimes. That's mostly in part to when there's not a chaperone," said Burke.

Burke said most of the time there are chaperones there, but sometimes they're not which can pose a threat to students on prom night beyond drinking and driving.

There can be other risks such as death from alcohol poisoning, physical injuries, sexual assault and legal problems relating to underage drinking.

The CDC says 17 percent of high school students binge drink, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism said 5,000 people die every year from underage drinking.

Burke said they don't know exactly where the prom parties will take place, but remain on the lookout.

This is also a problem on other beach communities.

City officials with Isle of Palms said these prom houses go against the city's ordinances for short term rentals.

Officials with IOP said officers will charge the occupants. The rental company is then also notified.

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