Pacific Grove High School graduates head off to sober grad night

More than 100 graduates plan to celebrate safely

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. - The Class of 2014 is officially taking the leap beyond high school and looking to the future.  While many are celebrating, there's also the important reminder of doing it safely. 

The message is very similar to years past:  be safe and stay sober.  But these days there's an added level of concern for contraband that may be disguised.

"Last year I went and it was super fun and this year it's gonna be super fun," said senior Rafael Ramses.

While these high school graduates get ready to board the bus for an out-of-town sober grad night celebration, they're also having their bags checked, for drugs and alcohol.

"We have a dog that will sniff anything that they want to bring with them," said Sober Grad Night Committee participant Ana Torres.

Pacific Grove Police Sergeant Carl Lafata said while his department isn't doing the inspection, he knows the high school checks for everything.

"Things like bath salts and other synthetic drugs that are made to skirt the legalities of illicit narcotics sales," said Sergeant Lafata. 

When it comes to alcohol, Sergeant Lafata said most PG high schoolers haven't crossed paths with law enforcement lately. 

"We had roughly two dozen drunk driving arrests on the last calendar year and of those only one was involving someone who was underage," said Sergeant Lafata.

The school district said it's been putting on sober grad night for more than 20 years now, giving graduates a safe, chaperoned, alcohol and drug free all night party.  There's a plan if any grad is caught smuggling anything.

"Parents are called and it's the parent's responsibility to go pick them up," said Torres.

It's known as one of the most dangerous nights for graduates and the school encourages parents to have their kids participate in a sober event.

"Be safe, be sober, don't make a mistake now that will have a lasting impact on not only your driving record but also your future career goals and aspirations," said Sergeant Lafata.

The PGHS Sober Grad Night Committee said about 113 grads are participated this year.  Chaperones and guests were also on hand to make sure it was a positive experience.

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