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Students at NY Proms to Face Breathalyzers

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on June 01, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Some schools give lectures while others try to scare students straight. But this year, eleven Long Island school districts are taking a completely different approach to the presence of alcohol at prom.

Perhaps to the chagrin of some NYC DWI lawyers, students at these schools will be subjected to a prom Breathalyzer test. That's right -- if faculty believes a student is under the influence of alcohol, the student will be taken aside and asked to blow.

South Side High School has had a prom Breathalyzer policy for more than 10 years, according to CBS New York. Prior to the policy, the school had to send a few students home from prom each year, Principal Dr. Carol Burris told the station. No one has been sent home or tested in years.

Some parents and students may still feel uneasy about such a policy. But the reality is that it's probably legal.

For one, students and parents at South Side sign a contract. Everyone is made aware of the policy and has consented to the test and any related punishment. Most school districts likely do the same.

Moreover, schools have been given significant leeway when it comes to drug testing students. Schools can randomly drug test students who participate in school-sponsored extracurricular activities, which may also include prom. They can also drug test any student who they reasonably believe to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

So even if parents and students don't like their school's prom Breathalyzer policy, they'll likely have to live with it. Or just not go to prom.

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