Police step up patrols for prom

Nanaimo Mounties will be out in full force this weekend to ensure prom activities and after hour parties do not result in tragic or senseless accidents.

Dover Secondary School students will celebrate their prom tonight (Saturday) at their school on McGirr Road, while Wellington Secondary School’s dance is hosted at the Coast Bastion Inn. Both events, inside and out, will be monitored by Nanaimo RCMP school liaison and auxiliary police officers.

“These events have run smoothly over the last couple of years and we are there to simply assist if the need arises”, said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

Police will also keep watch on a carnival being hosted in the Nanaimo North Town Center parking lot this weekend.

Traffic enforcement will also be stepped up with road blocks through to ensure full compliance with all provincial and federal liquor and driving laws.

One thing police will particularly be on the lookout for is open liquor in vehicles on prom night.

O’Brien said people of any age are not allowed to consume alcohol in public and no one – driver or passengers – can have open liquor in a vehicle.

“There are provisions that we can even seize liquor if there are minors in the car,” O’Brien said.

He said if police can establish that liquor in a car will be provided to a minor in a vehicle they can seize the liquor, but people of legal drinking age who have their liquor seized can apply to police to have it returned to them within 30 days.

Officers will also monitor after hours parties hosted by parents.

“These events, while not sanctioned by our detachment, often run smoothly and there are no calls for service,” O’Brien said. “We will, however, respond if we are asked to do so. It should be noted too, if our officers witness underage drinking, the liquor could be seized and charges laid where appropriate.”

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