www.sunshinesummitlodge.info - Drug Rehabilitation and Alcohol Treatment Programs
(855) 734-2223

It started as an assignment for a health class, but a script written by three High School seniors about alcohol abuse has won a public service announcement award from the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

The words were turned into a 30-second commercial for a "Proms and Alcohol Don't Mix" announcement two months ago and were written by the students, all pals since middle school who will graduate in several weeks. The announcement was filmed by a production crew who came to the school through the division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. It can be viewed on YouTube, the division's website and various cable television stations.

"It started out as an assignment ' we didn't think we were going to win really," said Emily, 17.

The impacts of social media and gossip, the teens said.

"We wanted [to make the script] more realistic concerning the gossip, the rumors, the talking behind people's backs," said Melissa, 17. "That happens every day [through talk and social networking], and those are the more common consequences."

The script took the right course with the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

"Drinking underage can have dire consequences and this contest is the perfect way to start a dialogue among teenagers about the danger involved with alcohol," the alcohol agency's Director Michael Halfacre said in a statement.

Mixing alcohol with proms and graduation festivities can have emotional and legal ramifications, Halfacre said. Possession of alcohol while under the legal age is a disorderly person's offense, and penalties can include fines of at least $500 as well as a six-month suspension of a driver's license.

The teens are proud of their writing skills and their appearances in the announcement, filmed by a production team from Rutgers University in the hallways, stairwell and cafeteria of the high school in February. The teens' script was judged best among the nearly 50 submissions in January by a panel of senior ABC staff, media specialists and teen substance abuse advocates. The Department of Law and Public Safety and the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control will honor the teens on May 24 at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton.