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HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

Stay Sober or Skip Prom

Prom-going teens at one Wisconsin school will face a breathalyzer at the door.


No champagne in the limo this year. Photo via

By Reina Berger


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Pre-gaming won't be a smart option for Wisconsin teens attending Cederburg High School's upcoming prom: officials will be randomly selecting students to take a breathalyzer test at the door. Students caught with booze breath will be turned awaycorsages, boutonnieres and all. The idea might have been lifted from neighboring Germantown High School, where students are asked to pick a poker chip from a bag before entering school-wide eventsif they draw a marked chip, they have to take a breath test. Germantown Principal Joel Farren has said 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.’” He added, "Parents love it. They think it's the greatest idea in the world." But other parents are opposed, believing it invades privacy or displays a lack of trust in students. Regardless, breathalyzer policies are popping up at schools all over the countryand they seem to be working. Farren said 17 students were expelled during the 2005-2006 year for either drinking or showing up drunk to school eventsbut since the breathalyzers have been enacted, not one student has been caught with alcohol at school.

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