Been drinking? Forget prom
April 11th, 2012
06:14 AM ET

Been drinking? Forget prom

by Carl Azuz, CNN

(CNN) It could be the only time you wear a tux outside of a wedding.  Dinner somewhere is expected and trouble attaching a boutonniere is a given.  The limo is optional.  But a Breathalyzer - at least at some school proms this year - will be mandatory.

When students from Cedarburg High School in Wisconsin show up to prom on April 20, they’d better be sober.  Officials at the dance will be randomly selecting students to take a Breathalyzer test before they can get in.  Doors are not open to drinkers.

The idea might have come from nearby Germantown High School.  Its students who show up to school-sponsored events with alcohol on their breath could ultimately be expelled.  And testing at Germantown events isn’t based on someone’s suspicions about whether a student looks drunk.  It’s in the chips:  Students are offered a bag containing poker chips, between 25-45 percent of which are marked.  Draw a marked chip, take a Breathalyzer.

Germantown Principal Joel Farren, who was quoted in the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, says it’s “not about us trying to ‘get’ the students.  It’s about us telling them:  ‘Don’t do it here. This is a learning environment.’”  Farren added that parents love the policy.

Reviews are mixed in other areas that follow this policy, though.  Parental criticism ranges from invasion of privacy to outright distrust; some question how a school system that expects students to act like adults doesn’t seem to treat them as such at dances.  What’s surprising, though, is that many students seem to accept Breathalyzer policies, saying it’s a case of schools enforcing their own rules at their own events.

Regardless of where people stand on them, Breathalyzer policies are popping up nationwide.  And they do appear to be  somewhat effective.  Principal Farren said that 17 students were expelled during the 2005-2006 school year for either drinking or showing up drunk to school-sponsored events.  However, since the Breathalyzer tests have been put in place, Farren says that nobody has been caught with alcohol on his or her breath at an event.

Does that mean that students who want to drink won’t find a way?  Of course not.  But if the goal is to have a deterrent, it’s working.  And one thing that’s undisputed in all of this is the law itself:  If you’re not 21, it doesn’t matter where you’re going; you can’t legally drink anyway.

Posted by
Filed under: Extracurricular • Policy
soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. website

    Hey There. I discovered your blog the use of msn. This is a very neatly written article. I'll make sure to bookmark it and come back to learn more of your helpful info. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

    April 18, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  2. patriotboy

    All the truly successful kids have moved on long ago, I can point to 10 of my sons friends that saw high school as a waste of time, just a place to get busted for one thing or another. They dropped out, took the GED and moved on to college graduating early in some cases. Don't risk staying in high school, they will eventually bust you for something!

    April 12, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  3. jean

    a breathalyzer is a five secound test, who cares they take it they pass and get on to the dance. wouldnt you rather be having them do that or pulling them out of a ditch somewhere becasue they decided to make a horrible teenager decision????

    April 12, 2012 at 2:54 am |
  4. janeqcitizen

    My sister & her husband were SLAUGHTERED by a 17 yr.old self-indulgent drunk driver who was given the alcohol by his father. (I raised the orphaned children.) Schools have a duty to keep students at school events safe & follow laws re: underage drinking. Underage drinking is NOT negotiable & I thank these schools for their efforts. Event attendees who are impaired need a SOBER PARENT to drive them home-ALSO not NEGOTIABLE.

    April 12, 2012 at 1:20 am |
  5. Motel City

    Yep forget Prom and go straight to the seedy motel and let the fun begin. Don't forget to bring the raincoats to keep JR at bay. 🙂

    April 11, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
  6. wavejump1100

    iim so glad when i went to school the drinking age was 18. that made it easy to get alcohol although its probably not that hard even with the age at 21. i think its crazy not to allow an 18, 19, and especially a 20 year old not to drink. not being allowed to drink only makes it more fun when you are underage. like a challenge.

    April 11, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • janeqcitizen

      It's your type of thinking that allowed/permitted/encouraged a 17 yr old DWI to SLAUGHTER my family. Priorities? Alcohol & Minors-O tolerance laws. Accountability? Who are YOU going to blame when this violent crime injures or kills someone YOU care about? AND-Where are YOU & in what condition when your drunk friend/relative needs a SOBER ride home?

      April 12, 2012 at 1:35 am |
  7. imastarchick

    expelling these kids and ruining their life is not teaching them anything. The argument that they are drunk driving is false. Most kids go to prom in a limo just so they can drink and NOT drive. The responsible thing to do would be turn them away from the dance and call their parents to pick them up. Then require the kids and parents to do a responsible drinking community service program before graduation.

    April 11, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  8. steve

    Random tests......?sounds like teachers are profiling kids now. Breathalize the teachers too. it's ok to carry a gun though

    April 11, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Erin

      Steve, by definition, if something is "random", it cannot possibly be profiling. It's only when it's *not* random can it turn into profiling.

      April 11, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
  9. robert

    carl azuz, you are wrong and i'd appreciate it if you let me raise my kids. i'll let you raise yours. only 20 states outright prohibit furnishing alcohol to minors, the rest, including the district of columbia, allow exceptions. in many states parents may provide their children with alcohol at home or in private parties. so, you're closing statement "If you’re not 21, it doesn’t matter where you’re going; you can’t legally drink anyway" is wrong. it does matter, and if my kid is at my house with his family he can drink and we will be sure he's safe 🙂

    April 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
  10. ICDS

    I'm glad that they're expelling kids for drinking... I mean obviously if a kid makes one mistake, he or she deserves for senior year, and maybe college opportunities, to be ruined.

    April 11, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  11. justwrong1

    Generally, If you are against the policy, you are the drinker, if you think it's invasion of privacy, you're generally a thief and doin something wrong or maybe hiding something, face it. These are kids, kids shouldn't be drinking, these are YOUR kids so why would they be drinking.... hahahaha. Be grateful they are stopped because that tree is calling their name and hanging out beneath 6 feet of dirt isn't what you are hoping for... or are you (bad parent).

    April 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  12. FirstAve

    Wisconsin! Beer On!

    April 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  13. Clay Vollers

    First, how many of the people in "Germantown", the people putting these "zero tolerance" policies in place had a drink at or before or after their prom (maybe not the ones in the chess club). Second, when they've had a drink and you turn them away at the door, and they go get back in their car, what do you think they're going to do in that "unhappy" state of mind? Get in less trouble than they would inside of a school dance? The fact is you can try to tell them, but they're going to have to make their own mistakes (unless they are zombie droids) and making something "taboo" usually just makes it a "challenge" for young people thereby actually increasing the likelihood of it happening.

    April 11, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  14. LOL

    plastic flask in your jacket pocket. piece of cake! they can't search you anyways...pot and drugs are better anyways and they can't test for those!

    April 11, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  15. jeff


    April 11, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  16. Prom Queef

    Most kids that go to prom nowadays are dorks, the cool kids have parties at hotels and never make it to prom.
    Their to busy getting laid, and doing drugs.

    April 11, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Lolok

      lol I guess you were busy doing drugs too. It's "they're" not their.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
      • Lolok

        oh and it's "too" not to

        April 11, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • jean

      yeah they sound like the "cool kids"....

      April 12, 2012 at 2:56 am |
  17. Gutz

    At my prom the prom king got so drunk he woke up with no clothes on in an alley in Cleveland the next morning.
    How do I know? I was the prom king...

    April 11, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • cool story


      April 11, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  18. Riley O

    Almost ironic, that the same people who make rules for what young people can and cannot do, likely broke the same rules that they are implementing, when they were that age. kinda makes them unfit to make the rules. don't you think?

    April 11, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • That Was So Dumb

      Comments like this reaffirm tte notion hat most people are idiots and shouldn't share their opinions.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Lyon

      No, it makes them 'experienced' and clearer-thinking than teens.

      April 11, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • wavejump1100

      theres a word for those people. Hippocrates

      April 11, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
      • GameOn

        That does not make them hippocrates. That would mean every parent that tries to show their child right from wrong should stop doing that because they probably did wrong when they were young too. With that logic nobody should be making rules at all. You live and learn and try hard to help your children learn. You try to prevent them from making some of the same mistakes you made. If you went out drinking at an early age and it brought you grief then you are obligated to stear the next generation away from that danger.

        April 12, 2012 at 2:51 am |
    • GameOn

      Yeah, which would make every parent unfit to make rules for their children also. You may tell your child to not smoke but you smoked when you were young. You started smoking because it was cool. You grow up and learn that it was never cool. You want to help your child not make those mistakes you made. You learn and try to pass it on. They may listen or they may not but to not make rules is not an option.

      April 12, 2012 at 2:57 am |
  19. Junior

    I would boycott the prom. Real Americans do not allow searches of this or any other kind without probable cause.

    April 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • GN64056

      The probable cause is the ever growing number of teens drinking and driving. Don't drink and you've got nothing to worry about.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  20. Underh20fun

    What are adults teaching? Drawing a line in the sand is just wrong. We should be teaching social responsiblity. Its reminds me of watching students who go to parochial school then onto college. With the freedom of college students go crazy .... then bad things happen. At least in High School adults/parents/friends can help fix the problem and teach accountability for actions. This hard line of not drinking till 21.... That the world is yes/no what happen to maybe? An 18 year old can sign up for the military and go to war or stand as an adult in court .....but cannot drink ..... Very young people can sign up go to war and come back with terrible psychological or be an alcoholic is 10 times worse than drinking at prom. Or not drink be 18 drive back from prom, God forbid be in a terrible car accident and be charged as an adult. REALLY? My opinion is this is a way for adults to negate responsiblity of some very teachable moments.

    April 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  21. fabby


    April 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  22. Kellen Ryan

    They act like this is some revolutionary new technique to stop kids from drinking at dances... They have been breathalyzing kids for years before dances, it doesn't mean the kids dont have a hidden bottle or flask for inside.. or in some cases some of these kids are probably popping x... its not going to ever stop without proper education for these kids... and telling the kids "NO" is not education its an order and in my experience people don't respond well to being ordered around.

    April 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  23. Anna

    I'll never forget my prom! I won Prom Queen and when I went to do the dance the Prom King was so drunk he was just swinging me all over the place. It was so fun! They should just lower the drinking age to 18. You're 18 when you start college and there a huge social drinking scene there. Whether you agree with it or not it's there and underage people are drinking. If you're old enough to vote, old enough to be declared an independent and old enough to die for our country then why the hell shouldn't you be old enough to order a damn beer!

    April 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  24. C to the J

    Is this really a news story? My little high school did this at prom back in 1997.

    I guess you missed the scoop Carl!

    April 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  25. M.E.

    Prom is sort of dumb anyway. Pay loads of money to listen to a bad DJ play in some convention or event center ballroom decorated with chintzy paper. Save your money and go to a rave or something instead.

    April 11, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  26. trollol

    Why does a prom have to even be school sponsored? Couldn't students just organize their own prom? Is there something that stops them?

    April 11, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  27. go shat yourself

    But you impress yourself with your creativity

    April 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  28. kuttekalund

    I thought they drank milk in wisconsin.....

    April 11, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • father son rocker husband brother

      Then you don't know Wisconsin. There's a culture here that almost encourages binge drinking.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
      • kuttekalund

        but then why are you called "americas dairyland" and not "americas boozeland"?

        April 11, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Emmy Skaddittle

      Milwaukee is known for brewing beer, heck their baseball team is called the brewers

      April 11, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • FirstAve

      Apparently you've never been to Wisconsin, out drinking your state since 1848.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  29. Rosebud

    starting in 2006, my high school started breathalyzing EVERY student for every school dance–proms, homecomings, everything. they also check girls' purses and I believe they reserve the right to pat students down if they feel so inclined. no one over the age of 21 is even allowed to attend dances as a student's date.

    April 11, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  30. Patchw3rk

    Ok, as far as the random breathalyzer thing goes it does make me a little bit uneasy because I do think high school students should be afforded 4th amendment protections, but I don't even think that is the most important issue here. The thing that really gets me is that they EXPEL these kids who fail the test!!! Do they really think that this is a good thing? It is one thing if a student is presenting a danger to other students to a degree that removing them from the school permanently is the only option. However, expelling students willy-nilly will just result in less of them becoming contributing members of society.

    April 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Mom

      Yeah, why don't you tel this to the parents of a child that get killed because of a drunk driver.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
      • Patchw3rk

        Like I said, presuming students are guilty until proven innocent without any cause makes me uneasy. But just uneasy. I'm not saying I'm 100% against it, just that I think we need to pause and think about it. What I am 100% against is ruining a child's future because of one dumb mistake that they have made. Couldn't you just kick them out (having a parent come pick them up of course), or give them detention or suspend them? Why does it have to be expulsion??

        April 11, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
      • Joe Bitin'

        Drinking before prom does not necessarily lead to DWI. If a kid is that stupid to drive drunk, they should face sanctions. But drinking before prom, not so much.

        April 11, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
      • Nancy Botox

        In my limo, we had a bag of magic mushrooms, some Oxy, Quaaludes, roofies, Adderall, some dog tranquilizers, Benadryl, the Vike, anything we could fund. My friend took some heartworm pills but nothing happened.

        April 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
      • Woodzilla007

        Oh, my heart bleeds! You go tell it to the offender – the drunk driver!

        April 11, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • CommonSense

      You hit the nail on the head perfectly! Sure seems like an idiotic thing to do... so much for those schools being centers of "learning" and "education" ... really dumb policy – creating more degenerates that society must endure for the rest of their lives...

      April 11, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  31. Lexagon

    Yet another situation in which smoking pot is a better idea than alcohol.

    April 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • T

      Pot is just as bad as booze, period.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
      • dave

        you obviosly know nothing about pot. why don't you look up alcohol related death statistics and then try posting again.

        April 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
      • onoku

        Please present your evidence of this (preferably clinical studies from peer-reviewed journals).

        April 11, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
      • Badbooze

        Do a little research, alcohol is much worse than pot. According to the World Health Organization, every year approx 2.5 million people die from alcohol related causes.

        April 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
      • Judith K. Bogdanove

        You stated that pot is just as bad as booze, but actually it's not. You should do some actual research on the subject. I'm not advocating pot for young people, but if they are going to use it, it's less harmful than alcohol, particularly in that it doesn't encourage violent behavior, as alcohol frequently does. IMO, it's far better to educate children in the ways of responsible drinking, which is a part of the social fabric, instead of blanket prohibition and repression.

        April 11, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
      • sam stone

        Pot is as bad as booze in what respect?

        April 12, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  32. pdxrains

    It's just not a prom without booze. I feel sorry for kids these days. What a sad world we live in.

    April 11, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • 4evrlonghorn

      you think it is a sad world cuz you can not have booz for brom? what a spoiled brat you are.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
      • 4evrlonghorn

        *booze/ prom

        April 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  33. Hannibal7

    A Breathalyzer... A GPS.... Google face recognition... 10,000 camera's on 5th Avenue. The government now reads your email. They know when you drive over a bridge. They know when you fly. They review your cell pone log and you will never know.

    Remember.. our generation blew it. The stain is on us for trashing our liberty in favor of a politically correct POLICE STATE. I am so sorry to be part of the history, the generation that blew it! The generation let our liberty die for fear and political correctness. A society of Lemmings and Whimps. Wait till the government wants to "Chip" your babay at birth... first they will say.."it's a great idea".. then it will be mandatory. Kiss freedom and free will good bye... might as well use the Bill of Rights for toilet paper... no one cares. Enjoy the show Lemmings...

    April 11, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Heavyhand

      Calm down and quit acting like you understand something the rest of us don't.
      Everything looks like a slippery slope to your type.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  34. BD

    I wonder if the average citizen of the US realizes how draconian this (and their liquor laws in general) sounds to the rest of the world?

    I was getting drunk before/after/during my grade 10 dance. The only thing our the school cared about was violence, if they patted you down for a knife and found a flask, they'd probably let you keep it.

    Tell big brother I said hi!

    April 11, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  35. yoda

    Would have been unenforceable back in the day....We held the prom at a private club/reception hall....what a different world today....I feel sorry for these kids today....MADD is just a money maker today...even the woman who started it says it's a crock!!!!! DUI's are jus money maker for police!!! It has not stopped DUI at all...

    April 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  36. BRBSanDiego

    Big brother strikes again. A breathalyzer test at my proms would have resulted in no one showing up or going in sober, get the portrait taken, eat some crap food, and get the hell out of there. Why don't they do this at football, basketball, and other activities where all the fights and real nonsense occur? Everyone knows the real parties are after the prom or games anyway – too many parents and teachers around at most campus school events to get really plowed. Just another signal that the "nanny state" is real.

    April 11, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  37. James

    They did this at our high school, so everyone in our limo group (20+ kids) took ecstasy instead. Some kids ate weed brownies. This was back in 2005 when some substances such as ecstasy were way less available than they are today. I did not participate, I am just stating what the results of their enforcement policy were.

    April 11, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Tom

      "Everyone in our group took ecstasy" "I did not participate"

      Anybody see a problem here!!!

      April 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  38. Becca

    Since when is this new?
    I graduated in 1999 from a very small town in the Midwest and at our Senior Prom, 13 YEARS AGO, they did breathalyzers. If my little po' dunk town did it then, I'm surprised more schools aren't doing it already!

    April 11, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  39. breatheasier

    Whether you agree or not the drinking age is 21 years of age. When we were younger the consequences for drinking wasn't as big of an issue. Today there are very big consequences, the kids need to know that rules are rules. And they need to respect them.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Scott B

      No, the rules are ridiculous. Our country completely lost it's sanity on things like this over the last 40 years.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
      • Lance

        Obviously you are under the age of 21, very immature and have no respect for the rules and or law!!! The administrators who are in charge of a High School (not the students) can do whatever they damn well please and there's nothing the students can do about it. I think it's a great idea and all schools should do the same!

        April 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • BRBSanDiego

      Basically, the U.S. is one of the few countries in the world with a legal drinking age that is enforced. You morons need to get out of your "Beaver Cleaver" mindset and travel around the world to see how 95% of the world population really lives outside of our puritan, you're going to hell, growing nanny state country.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  40. Eric

    Do they know what a Hip Flask is? Very easy to conceal. They can get drunk after the breathalyzer test. Most of the real drinking occurs after prom anyway. Get your picture taken for posterity, then it's off to the Lucky-U Motel to deflower the debutante.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  41. Ken

    They'll only catch the stupid kids... when there's a will there's a way. Won't stop the problem..because even IF they don't show up drunk when they go to Prom, they'll get drunk after.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Yngri

      This is is fantastic idea.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  42. R

    This is all about shifting liability away from the school. Nothing more. Which is fine. I'm sick of people suing everyone for everything anyway. The prom probably won't be very much fun since everything is going to be focused on following the rules rather than having a good time.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  43. Geoff

    I love how the parents who support this policy either went to high school before the 21 age limit or broke the law themselves. Welcome to America kids, our core value, Hippocracy!!!

    April 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Mike

      First of all, it's hypocrisy. And second...did you ever think that those parents learned their lesson(s) the hard way and just want to pass those lessons on? Just because one generation did something detrimental to themselves doesn't mean they have to condone or allow the next to do the same thing.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  44. Guy

    LOL – so glad I live in Canada.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • InS


      April 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  45. Cuso

    Germantown Principal Joel Farren, who was quoted in the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, says it’s “not about us trying to ‘get’ the students. It’s about us telling them: ‘Don’t do it here. This is a learning environment.’” Farren added that parents love the policy. Um the prom is not a learning environment

    April 11, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • utahlady

      yes the prom is a learning environment – how to act like ladies and gentlemen – too many kids today have no respect for each other and this is a great place to learn now to treat each other with respect and courtesy

      April 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
      • cody

        prom is not a learning experiance my ass. america is so screwed up on their drinking laws its ridiculous. high schools try to get kids in trouble they only care about their paychecks. hell these days the law catches a kid drinking they treat em like felons. alcohol isnt a bad thing go to other countrys where you can drink at age 19 or some cases 16 american teens are sheltered from the real world. as far as government laws go their screwed up

        April 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  46. MDMA

    Breathalizer cant detect extacy. Have fun kids!

    April 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • LSD

      Don't forget to spike the punch bowl with it. Goes great with all that ecstasy.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  47. Wasp

    I don't agree with things like this. The motivation for something like this is perfectly understandable but we really need to rely on educating children and expecting them to make safe decisions. Randomly breathalyzing children and young adults like this only desensitizes them to a persistent unreasonable invasion of privacy and an atmosphere of presumed guilt.

    The unintended consequences are many and do not include any real increase in the safety of these young people.

    At my high school prom we were all taking cocaine and pills, a minority were drinking. Good luck breathalyzing for drugs. Maybe we should demand random drug tests at the prom too?

    April 11, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • FmR CheerLrd

      i agree with WASP. alcohol should be the least of their woories. Showing up to prom high on some drug(s) is alot more likely. and like someone else said only the kids stupid enough to drink alcohol and show up will get caught. the kid high off his A** on something else will glide right through the doors to prom and maybe glide right up a telephone pole in his car after prom.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Lh

      Maybe we should strip search them as well....

      Stupid... If they are "acting drunk," have them removed....

      What about the kids on drugs or the pervs slipping date rape drugs.... Not to worry about a breathalyzer

      April 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Doug

      Agreed. Random drug testing should be added. Employers do it, why shouldn't schools?

      April 11, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  48. Matt

    They're trying to build a prison for everyone to live in.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Christina

      System of a down, Nice haha

      April 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  49. brew - haha

    a prom on 4/20? don't know how much these kids will be drinking, vs smoking the reefer.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  50. Scrape

    Guilty until proven innocent. It's all the rage!

    April 11, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Matt

      Yep. And Make sure you're politically correct too. Otherwise you won't be performing the Monday Night Football Theme. Off of TV or Radio for your comments or beliefs or Suspended indefinitely...

      April 11, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Jewel

      Its true. I am a CRJ major and 97% of underage drinking cases are dismissed because by the time they are processed, they are sober and it has left their system... its the unfortunate truth... drink up!

      April 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
      • Wake up

        So not true Jewel. I have sat in Juvenile Court in 2 different states for 6 years and the kids cases are not dismissed. Some end up with misdemeanors and some end up with diversion and community service. Better make up a new statistic.

        April 11, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  51. Richard Miller

    Parents may love the policy but I am wondering if their children will turn the tables on them and demand the same test before their parents leave the house. Most of the drunks I see are well over the age limit for drinking and they are the ones behind the wheel most of the time!

    April 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • boarddog

      The difference is that the parents are of legal drinking age there Einstein. The children in a home can not "demand" anything.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  52. AJ400

    NKM, if prom is one of the best times of your kids lives, you're not very optimistic about their future yourself are you? The only kids who peak at prom are the ones who do nothing else for the rest of their lives.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • EScap

      I couldn't agree more with your assessment. The staggering amount of poorly written posts defending kids getting drunk just shows how life ended for many of them at HS graduation. A pathetic narrative of our society.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  53. Burbank

    Great idea but all of the kids should be tested, not just some. If they drink after the event, it's not the school's liability anymore.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  54. l stacey

    our school has done this for years. it's really not that big of a deal, why didnt we get to be in the news??

    April 11, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Taylor

      My high school did this when I was there in 2005 and 2006 for prom. It wasn't an issue at all. The after prom party is when most people drank anyways. It was actually safer that way cause then you just kind of pass out at a friends house. I knew some people though who got so drunk beforehand they never even made it to prom. Overall this makes sense. It's a school event, don't get drunk. Not news

      April 11, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  55. Josie

    Here is the deal, we want to treat them like adults then go for it. It is ILLEGAL for a minor to drink. You have to be 21 and last I checked most kids in high school are 18 tops (seniors). So you are giving them the message that it's ok to break the law when wanting to have fun. Sorry but if I found out my daughter or son drank before prom and got told they couldn't go because of it, they would have to deal with the consequences when they get home.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Burbank

      Good for you! It's refreshing to see a parent that acts like one!

      April 11, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • cleuq

      Seniors who are 18 are allowed to drink in my province (Manitoba); there are many other places like that as well. It's not quite fair to generalize like that.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
      • Mother in Indiana

        This is not the case in the US where the legal drinking age is 21. Most kids at college (univeristy in Canada) are not even at legal drinking age.

        April 11, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • j

      This wont prevent anything, I have younger cousins who have a mandatory breathalyzer upon entry of school-sponsored events. Kids just wont drink before prom they'll sneak it in and drink it during; trust me kids will always find a way to have fun.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • michael

      Prom is so overrated. I've never talked to a guy who said prom was amazing, let alone a hoot, without drinking.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  56. NKM

    If you constantly treat someone like a criminal, they are more likely to become one. This is an old proverb. Save the breathalizers for a time other than that which may be our kids most memorable time...prom. Who wants to think back on their prom and have a breathalizer test in that memory even though they where a good kid and didn't drink. It's just flat out imbarrising! It's almost as bad as making everyone take a breathalizer every time before work, regardless of their job. We must realize that our kids, like us, are going to make mistakes for we are human. It's our job to help them learn from those mistakes.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • cleuq

      If the "kid" is mature enough, they won't care if they get pulled aside for a breathalyzer because they acknowledge that the school committee has NO way of knowing whether people have been drinking or not. I know I personally wouldn't care; especially if you walk away from that test thinking "ha! It came back negative, I just proved myself to these people".

      April 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • mkjp

      ummm it's way better than remembering prom as the night you were paralyzed because of a drunk driver. or God forbid the night your best friend was killed as a result of a drunk driver. what people need to realize is those who are so strongly against this idea are the kids who will drink before/at/after prom and their parents. the sober kids don't give a cr@p about this rule.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • lvmsleader

      Are you kidding me??? Are you saying that it is OK to show up for a school event drunk? Not to mention the underage drinking, but the school's responsibility and liability. You guys are nuts!!!

      April 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Reality

      It's also our job to help them realize which mistakes aren't worth making.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • PeacefulWarrior

      "Who wants to think back on their prom and have a breathalizer test in that memory even though they where a good kid and didn't drink."
      Who wants to think back on their prom when a kid got drunk, drove home and killed the good kid who didnt drink. People need to realize that not only is the drinker affected in any way, but potentially everyone else around the drunk.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Tommy

      Any adult who thinks back on their prom and thinks anyting but "yea it was a good time but it was a long time ago" or yea it was a bad time but who cares, it was a long time ago", needs to seriously get a life. My prom, which was NOT a bad time, is nothing more than a distant memory that I could really care less about. Something way better happened a few months Then after college, life got really cool. Moral of the story is, I certainly hope your kids have more to look forward to than their prom.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • CJC

      Almost as embarrassing as spelling embarrassing wrong?

      April 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  57. k bowers

    They should test them on the way out What if they drink inside then drive home?

    April 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Burbank

      Most likely they would just wait until after the event, that would be too extreme.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  58. Josef Bleaux

    Thankfully my kids didn't drink until they were 21 (not much at least), my oldest boy even broke up with his girlfriend because she drank a beer (they were 17 at the time). I didn't tell them how much alcohol I had consumed by the time I was 15. We used to get pretty drunk and drive and do whatever. Yes, very stupid I know, but that's what kids did during the late 50's and early 60's. In the mid 60's it was drugs. Also very stupid. I feel lucky to still be alive. I did finally wise up and stop using ANYTHING when I had kids. Just thankful my kids didn't behave like I did.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  59. vyprguy88

    bjc70 seriously i cannot believe the nerve you display over something that not only helps teens make a good choice and experience the event of prom but coming from a standpoint of i myself receiving a phone call at 1 A.M. telling me my friend had just passed away at an accident scene becuase he was stupid enough to drink and drive home from the dance gives you no right to just shoot down these new policies i personally think they are great and somewhat necessary. trust me you don't want that 1 A.M. phone call it's seriously not gonna weigh easy on your mind and trust me you will lose sleep over it. kudos to the school systems smart enough to want to help their students make the right choices and enforce their own policies maybe a lesson is needed to be taken and more school systems catch on

    April 11, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  60. cleuq

    I'm going to be 18 next month and LOVE this idea. There's absolutely no point to drinking before a dance. I barely drink anything myself, other than an occasional something at home.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  61. Critter

    Also... if kids truly want to go to the prom buzzed, won't this just encourage them to seek alternative drugs that would not be detected by a breathalyzer? So basically they go from being drunk to high on perscription pills. Not saying the breathalyzer idea is horrible, I just think it may have unintended consquences that could potentially be just as bad.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Burbank

      That's more of a matter of parents being responsible for their own pharmacy at home and keeping prescription drugs locked up. It's not the school's job to be responsible for bad parenting.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  62. Critter

    Um... ok so this just means a rise in flask sales. The assumption is that kids come to the prom drunk, but do not continue to drink. This is certainly not true. Kids will always find ways to sneak around the rules. All this does is deter a small few, while others will simply sneak in a few nips and do shots in the bathroom after they get to the prom. The question is... will those doing shots in the bathroom lead to an increase of passing the bottle to other kids (raising the risk of "angelic" kids being tempted) or not.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Burbank

      Chaperones in the bathrooms are good deterents. A student suspected of drinking after getting in can always be sent back to the breathalyzer.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  63. thisandthat

    Proms are just stupid anyway, forget the policy.

    April 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Sparky Sr.

      Couldn't get a date to the prom, eh?

      April 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
      • michael

        Prom is stupid. or just for girls. If you're guy friend loved prom he was probably gay.

        April 11, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  64. Josef Bleaux

    So, they'll just hid a flask or two in their coats, purses, or whatever and spike the punch when they get inside.

    April 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  65. harlem23

    No matter how you raise your kids, when they're crossing the school parking lot, or catching a ride home, some other drunk teen at their school could be the reason your kid gets killed. It's just fact. Once folks are adults, they have their own rules – you can be fired for being drunk at your job, cops can breathalize you if you're driving crazy. While they're kids, ON THEIR SCHOOL CAMPUS, their schools have a right to address a growing fatal problem for the safety of all students. Pretty much, don't like it, then keep your drunk ass kids home.

    April 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • CivilLiberties

      You can't – there are Truancy laws.....

      April 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  66. Michael

    As long as it is truly random or everybody gets tested, that's fine. But once a school gets accused of profiling, then they either need to step up and test everybody or stop the testing altogether (preferably the former).

    April 11, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  67. LOLERS

    Your kid has a pretty sad life if they depend on booze to have good experiences. Also, BJC you are probably some dumb kid posing as a mature grown up to make what you think is a valid point. Isn't it your bed time?

    April 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  68. denman838

    If you're a parent and you're against this policy, you're not fit to be a parent. Seriously. Give your kids to someone who has the love and skills to raise them properly.

    April 11, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  69. PeacefulWarrior

    bjc70 you are an idiot. The only reason teachers are "disgruntled" and hate their career choice is because of idiot kids like your children. And you are an even bigger idiot to think that your parenting is going to give your children thier "teen experiences." They get that on their own at school, away from home. I doubt that your kids spent more than 60% of thier time at home. LOL. You think you know your children. You have no idea.

    April 11, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  70. Sissy

    You may be doing your job, but some aren't. It's better than getting a call at 1 a.m. telling you that a carload of kids are dead or crippled for life.BTW, a woman in my town got in big trouble for serving alcohol to minors.Some adults do this without permission of other parents. I didn't drink as a teen because I thought it was stupid.

    April 11, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  71. bubba J

    Random selection? My old High School started (6-7yrs ago) breathalyzing EVERY single student, not just at Prom but at seasonal dances as well. This is old news.

    April 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  72. bjc70

    (sigh) This won't change or stop teen drinking. You know it, I know it. It didn't work for your parents. It didn't work for you. It won't work for your kids. I don't need disgruntled, underpaid, hating thier career choice, teachers policing my children and ruining their teen expriences – that's my job as a parent! Back off.

    April 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • sarryonasdad

      and it's THEIR responsibility as an educational facility to protect all the students. Just because your "angels" don't misbehave doesn't mean others are following the rules. it IS their job to police them, or "ruin" their precious teenage years. I'd rather have one ticked off "my child can do no wrong because I raised them right" parent such as yourself then a dead kid. Plain and simple. You don't like it? Homeschool your kids. Oh, and by the way...You said it yourself....this won't stop teen drinking, and neither will the way you raise your kid. No matter how innocent they seem, parents always seem to think their kids can do no wrong due to the way they act in front of their parents.

      April 11, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
      • PeacefulWarrior

        Very well said.

        April 11, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • seraphim0

      Breathalizer tests weren't issue to my parents, or to me in school. Not sure how young you are, exactly. Had been inclined to drink before going to prom, the possibility of expulsion for testing positive would -definitely- weigh on either my decision to drink or go to prom. You may not agree as to what extent of a deterent it is, but it -is- a deterent.

      April 11, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • seraphim0

      oh, and by the way, BJC- if trying to mimimalize underage drinking is ruining your kid's teenage experiences... what does that say about you as a parent?

      April 11, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • denman838

      If you don't like the policy, don't allow your child to attend. Pretty simple, isn't it? You know, enact rules and policy for the benefit of the majority, and not the whining few.

      April 11, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Bill

      "It didn't work for your parents."

      Given this is something new how could it have worked for my (or any) parents? And actually, there weren't any breathalyzers when my parents were teens anyway.

      April 11, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • andy

      Well, at least you get it. You might be one in a thousand. May we clone you?

      April 11, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Franklin

      And you're the type who would sue the school and anyone else remotely in the area if they "backed off" of your little thugs, who were then killed in a drunk driving incident. Pathetic parents like you deserve to see my Highway Patrol cruiser pull up in front of your house to tell you the news your little angel was killed because they can't follow the law. And obviously you never enforced it either.

      April 11, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • roamingrock

      bjc70- Sure, your kid gets hurt or causes someone else to be hurt or worse and you'll be the first one looking for someone to blame and sue.

      April 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
      • lvmsleader

        Well put roamingrock. NKM will do nothing but find someone else to blame for his shortcoming as a parent.

        April 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • NKM

      bjc70, I agree with you 100%. Why should our kids have to go to a place that expects them to act like adults while treating them like kids? It just doesn't make any sense! I understand the law is that drinking is illegial until one reaches the age of 21 and that law should be followed as any other. However, constantly treating our kids as if we are expecting them to screw up just isn't right as well. Yea, they are gonna make mistakes as we all do and it's out job to make sure they learn from them. Prom should be a time to make great memories. They shouldn't have to worry about being pulled from a dance with their sweetheart for a breathalizer. Good god! Forget being optimistic about our future America. They're all criminals anyway. Let's treat them as such and it dosn't matter if it is during what could possibly be one of the best times of their lives...prom

      April 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
      • cleuq

        Maybe because even adults will sometimes have to pass breathalyzer tests? A huge majority of teens haven't developed the cognitive or emotional maturity to make a call as to whether or not they'll drink or not. They may see the risks but not realize them. I'm a teen myself, almost an adult, but I wouldn't mind being pulled aside for a breathalyzer (whether I've been drinking or not, which I BARELY do, let alone before an event) if it means other, more idiotic people will be punished for it. Sure, they may think we're being jerks, but I'd do the same thing if I was in their shoes. I'm the same age as people going to prom but I don't want to associate myself with people who are hungover or buzzed when arriving at the dance!

        April 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm |