In an attempt to deter underage drinking before the prom, several Long Island high schools — including in neighboring Rockville Centre — have turned to using breath tests to detect alcohol usage.
According to a Newsday article:
"Every year, before we started to use the Breathalyzer, we had kids using alcohol before the prom," said Dr. Carol Burris, principal of South Side High School...
The breath test, she said, "has made a tremendous difference."
Schools that have alcohol detectors say they rarely use them. Burris said she could remember using it only once: the day after a prom, when a student showed up apparently drunk for graduation practice.
The Rockville Centre School District purchased the alcohol-detection device more than a dozen years ago, however, only those suspected of alcohol use are tested.
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Superintendent Dr. William Johnson told Rockville Centre Patch that students who are caught using alcohol either before or during the prom are sent home and their parents are called. Depending on the situation, a student could be excluded from graduation ceremonies.
"They know that in advance, and it's been a real deterrent," Johnson said of students knowing they could be excluded from graduation if they use alcohol. "Kids want to go to graduation. It's kind of an understanding we have with them. We want you to go there and enjoy yourself."