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Prom Breathalyzer At Chesterton High: School Board Wants Students Checked For Booze Before Dance

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Students at a northwest Indiana high school will add breathalyzer testing to their prom night memories. (Alamy)
Students at a northwest Indiana high school will add breathalyzer testing to their prom night memories. (Alamy)

Getting Breathalyzed in a prom dress is unlikely part of any high schooler's dream night, but it could become a reality for students at one northwest Indiana high school.

After several teens showed up sloshed to a Chesterton homecoming dance in December, the The Duneland school district's board green-lit a pilot program to test student's blood alcohol levels at the school's dances. Fox Chicago reports the board voted unanimously in favor of the testing at a Wednesday meeting.

Chesterton High School Principal James Goetz first floated the idea in March after the homecoming incident, during which an ambulance was called for at least one of the intoxicated students, the Northwest Indiana Times reports.

Before the school board approved the pilot program — which will be in place for Chesteron's prom and senior banquet — the school called off the Valentine's Day dance.

Reactions among students were mixed, with one senior telling Fox he thought testing the BAC of prom-goers was a good idea. "It's not only a danger to themselves, but other drivers on the road and other people at the prom," the student said. Another student said the program was "over-stepping some boundaries" since not every student drinks.

According to the Post-Tribune, chaperones will test students, and those who show signs of alcohol will be re-tested by a police officer. Students who test positive the second time will be referred to police, and face suspension and cuts to their extracurricular activities.

Last year, students at a New Jersey high school refused to take breathalyzer tests at their prom on the basis that they claimed it violated their Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.

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