Oswego, IL – Prom is a popular, festive milestone for teenagers. In the US, prom, short for promenade, is a formal occasion where high school students gather, donned in tuxes and gowns, to dance and celebrate the near-end of the school year and the culmination of high school for graduating seniors.
After acquiring a date, the right dress or tux, a pretty boutonnière and corsage, some kids chip in together and book a limo and chauffeur to ferry them to the party in style. However, for 23 Oswego East High School (OEHS) students who were taken to their prom Saturday evening in a Limos Alive Party Bus, it was not the safest investment for transportation.
According to reports, some of the students were so uncomfortable with the erratic driving and unprofessional condition of their driver they called their parents during the ride.
After arriving at the venue, 54-year-old Richard L. Madison, the inebriated chauffeur, was arrested by Dupage Police and charged with two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol and one count of reckless conduct.
Madison is being held at the DuPage County jail and is expected to appear in court on Monday.
Teenage consumers fuel the thriving prom industry – spending billions annually to participate in a one-night affair between the outfits and rental, accessories, makeup and hair, tickets, flowers, dinner, and transportation.
A 2001 Rand Youth Poll found 13- to 19-year-old females splurged in the neighborhood of $64 billion a year, $31 billion of it on beauty and fashion. The spending trend has only increased since. A 2012 national survey by Visa Inc. showed that American families who have teenagers spent an average of $1,078 each on the prom, a 33.6 percent increase over the $807 spent in 2011. In 2013, the same Visa poll showed a slight five percent increase, reflecting an average of $1,139 spent on prom.
A party bus, accommodating up to 25 people can cost upwards of $150 to $200 per hour on a Friday or Saturday.
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