MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WUSA)--In Montgomery County last year, fatal drunk driving crashes were up, and here are some eye-opening statistics related to those crashes:
The average Blood Alcohol Concentration of the victims aged 21 or over was .17-- more than twice the legal limit of .08.
But under the age of 21, the average was a .24--three times the legal limit! That's the equivalent of consuming about 15 drinks!
With prom season now underway, Montgomery County Police will be out in full force trying to keep our kids safe.
9 Wants You To Know how some teenagers have gotten downright clever when it comes to sneaking alcohol into the night's festivities.
"We do make all the backpacks, purses and everything go in the trunk, no matter what," said Len Joseph, the owner of On The Town Limo in Mt. Airy.
Sleek limos, fancy dresses and sharp tuxes aren't the only signs that prom season is here.
"There's a new alcohol bra that actually has little compartments in it and there's a straw down the strap," said Officer William Morrison of the Montgomery County Police Department.
Every year, Montgomery County Police alert limo drivers to the latest trends among resourceful teenagers. The alcohol bra appears to have replaced another fad: sandals with a built in flask.
"Last year, I had a limousine driver come to me and say, 'Hey, do you mind talking to this kid? He's got the mintiest fresh breath you've ever seen!' And sure enough, what he was actually doing was drinking Scope," said Morrison.
Police say some mouthwash contains as much as 40% alcohol!
"They're very creative. Very creative," said Joseph.
Limo driver Len Joseph remembers one prom night when the kids made what sounded like an innocent request: a brief stop at a local convenience store.
Recalled Joseph, "I pull in, two of the boys get out, they run in and they come out with two big huge bags of Snapple."
That seemed odd, since the limo was stocked with water and soda. But Len listened closely and didn't hear the popping noise that usually comes when bottles are opened.
"I said, hey, you guys got Snapple? Pass one of those up for old Mr. Len, that's great. Great stuff. Well you could see the look go over every face," he said.
The teens had planned in advance with a friend who worked at the convenience store. Each bottle had been opened and pre-filled with alcohol.
"I pulled over, grabbed a Snapple and said, we're going back to Mom and Dad's and we did," said Joseph.
Whether in a standard limo or in a 32-passenger deluxe model, Len's company has a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking or drug use.
"We just can't have it," he said. "Parents put their trust in us and we have to bring them back the same way we found them."
Veteran limo company owners say parents shouldn't book a limo simply based on price. Make sure the company is licensed and has the proper insurance.
In Virginia, you can find a list of registered and insured limousine companies on DMV's website: www.dmvNOW.com.
For other jurisdictions, put the name of the limo company in the search box at:
Written by Andrea McCarren
9NEWS NOW & WUSA9.COM