TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - The Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance held an event Saturday that allowed teens to get a free new or gently used formal gown or suit in exchange for a pledge to be safe during their night to remember.
Ydalia Guzan is looking forward to her ROTC military ball.
"It's not really prom, but it's my type of prom," Guzman said.
But before the Leto High School junior could find the perfect dress, she decided to sign the pledge.
Denise Birungi Evans, the Youth Coordinator for the Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance explains how it works.
“Just to give us a pledge that they shouldn’t even be drinking because they’re not 21," Evans said. "They can’t get in a car with somebody who is drinking or using drugs, and they pledge to call their parents if they’re in a dangerous situation."
The statistics are there to prove that impaired driving can be a deadly part of prom and graduation season. A survey done by AAA showed 39% of high school teens admit they or their friends would likely be under the influence of drugs or alcohol sometime during the prom or graduation months.
"They're transitioning from a teenager to an adult, where they're graduating from high school, and they want to celebrate, and often times what comes with that is the peer pressure of drinking and taking drugs," said AAA Spokesperson Mark Jenkins.
For Guzman, signing the pledge was an easy decision.
"Not a lot of kids get to experience prom, and then some were messing it up, because they wanted to come and do certain things you're not supposed to be doing, like drugs, or alcohol. Even without those things we think we might need, we can still have fun," she said.
If you missed the March 30 event, the Alliance will be hosting another on Monday, April 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.