High School to Give Kids Breathalyzers Before School Dances

Say What!? 15

beerKids who show up to school dances at one Massachusetts high school will have something surprising waiting for them. From now on, there will be cops waiting at the doors of Belmont High School, armed with breathalyzers.

Yikes! Has it really gone this far?

Do we have that many drunk kids stupid enough to show up at a school function that we need breathalyzers at the door?

What? You thought I was going to chastise the school for their Big Brother-like tactics? Not on your life. If anything, I'm sad that a high school has had so much trouble with kids and alcohol that they've taken a step this drastic.

I wonder: where are the parents of the kids who continue to get this wasted and act this stupid?

I don't plan on having my kid showing up to a school function drunk. We're already having the responsible drinking discussions in our house to keep that from happening. 

But kids are kids, and kids do stupid things. So let's say it happens? Let's just say my kid is the idiot who sneaks a bottle of Kahlua out of the liquor cabinet and shows up sloshed at the school dance? 

I sure as heck want someone to catch her, punish her, and call me so I can make sure she doesn't drive home in that state. Then I'll punish her on top of what the school is doing!

The Belmont High School may not be making every parent in the district happy with this move, but maybe it's time the unhappy parents consider the alternative. Would they prefer their kids drink and aren't punished?

Is this school out of line or would you support a breathalyzer system at your kids' school?


Image via Tiger Girl/Flickr

behavior, drugs & alcohol


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Coles... Coles_mom

I don't see how this will help. The kids who are drinking will simply not go to the dance. They'll tell their parents they are.

jkm89 jkm89

No one will show up drunk if they know or think a breathalyzer might be there. I went to a good majority of high school dances buzzed, and so did quite a few other students. Some of them pretty drunk. Then they told us that there would be a breathalyzer present at our senior prom. There wasn't, but no one was stupid enough to chance it and we all showed up sober. Just the threat of it is enough to take care of the problem.

Elise48 Elise48

Was it really THAT big of a problem or did people just think it was?

I agree with Coles_mom, I don't see how this will be productive and it's definitely a waste of law enforcement. 

And to answer the questions, I don't ever support breathalyzer systems under any circumstances - no exception here.

handy... handy0318

I wouldn't have a problem with it. If the underage drinking is so out of hand, kudos to the school for starting to take some proactive steps to get it back under control.  

ethan... ethans_momma06

This isn't going to stop anyone from drinking, which makes it a big fat waste of time.

If you think this will ensure that your daughter gets caught- think again. Either the kids wont GO (but will still go and drink) or they'll wait till later in the evening, OR, they simply smuggle it in and drink at the party.

I love how free our country is. We have no suspicions of YOU drinking, but hey! Since people have before, let me accuse you, and invade your privacy! Now, what a life lesson that is, huh?

nonmember avatar wisconsingirl

What a shame that you automatically point the finger at "those" parents who have "those" kids. I was a 4.0 student in high school (and college, for that matter) and my wonderful & supportive parents sure didn't plan on me drinking either, but you can't control everything your child does. Thank goodness I never got caught at a dance, but you might want to think twice when you automatically dismiss your kids ever doing anything like this because you've talked it over. As you said, kids will be kids :)

Coles_mom is completely correct--those that do drink will just stay at the party and skip the dance completely.

ruby_... ruby_jewel_04

I graduated 10 years ago and it was a problem then. I can only imagine its gotten worse since. I Hope this helps.

nonmember avatar Pip

First off... this story is about ANDOVER, not Belmont. Not sure how familiar everyone is with Belmont or Andover, but they are both very wealthy towns in the GBA. I live in the Andover area and it is infamous for alcohol and drug usage among students. This tactic has been employed at many of the high schools in Middlesex County for at least the last 10 years. If a breathalyzer isn't being used, then certain students who are suspected of being drunk are denied entry into dances/ejected from the dances and held until a parent can pick them up. I think if you were familiar with the area, you'd understand. The drug and alcohol problem is pretty bad... and that combined with meth, prostitution, and drug trafficking in surrounding towns, it's a precautionary measure for a less than stellar area.

handy... handy0318

As for all the comments about the kids just skipping the dance and staying at the drinking party... a: that's not the school's issue. The parents should be a heck of a lot more on top of what their kids are doing where, but the school needs to be concerned about what happens on school property. B: If they are skipping the dance altogether, then they won't be putting the sober kids at the dance in danger from drunk drivers out on the streets around the school.  Just because the school can't keep the kid's safe all the time everywhere doesn't mean they should do nothing to keep them safer at a school dance.

ethan... ethans_momma06


I think all the comments about them doing it any way are pertaining to the OP, not the concept, where she's all for it so her kid gets caught and subsequently punished. I'm for the school reducing liability, blah blah blah, but that's simply a deterrant to show up drunk, not drink underage when these functions happen.

(BTW- still very well could put kids at the dance at risk. Who knows who kids are catching rides home w/ etc. So just because they didn't go INTO the dance doesn't mean the students who did are suddenly 'safe' from them)

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