The Fight Against Partying at Prom

Persoanl_Fuel_Cell_Breathalyzer.jpgMontclair High School is pulling out the big guns against drinking at the prom. In an email blast sent out from the Principal’s office, the school has announced that a Breathalyzer will be used at Prom if if they have reasonable suspicion to believe someone is under the influence of alcohol:

During the 2009-2010 school year, the Montclair High School staff collaborated on the various strategies to keep students safe and secure at the Junior and Senior Proms. We are excited to announce that we will have a Breathalyzer present to use only if we have reasonable suspicion to believe someone is under the influence of alcohol.
The Breathalyzer will discourage alcohol use and keep students safe as they travel to and from prom. It’s also a great tool to confirm alcohol use in the absence of physical proof and requires no mouthpiece. If we believe a student to be under the influence of alcohol, we can simply wave the “Breathalyzer Wand” in the area of the student or the student can blow into the wand being held 6 inches to a foot away. The instrument gives a reading of “High”, “Low”, “Zero”.
We have tested the Breathalyzer Wand with alcohol based mouthwash and hand sanitizer. It seems to be very accurate in reading alcohol content in mouthwash “Low” and reading alcohol content in hand sanitizer as “Zero”. I have listed below the reasons we might use a Breathalyzer:

  • Physical evidence: alcohol, alcohol bottles, alcohol on clothing, alcohol bottles found in limousines
  • Appearing intoxicated: stumbling, slurred speech, red eyes, abnormal behavior
  • Alcohol smell: breath, clothes, personal items

Although we have this new technology at our disposal, we will continue to follow the district and school code of conduct regarding the influence of alcohol. If you have questions, please contact my office at (973) 509-4069.


Last year five Montclair teens were busted with pot brownies going to junior prom. Two years ago, seven Montclair teens were caught with liquor bottles.
The truth is, to many teens, drinking (and sometimes drugs) and prom go together. You don’t even want to know what my classmates did on our prom night in 1991.
Do you applaud MHS’s efforts to stop drinking with the Breathalyzer or do you think it’s useless?

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7 COMMENTS

  1. I heard that the biggest problem at the Glen Ridge prom was when a girl in a sequin dress snagged a girl with a lace dress. True story.

  2. better go easy on the mouth wash and sanitizer…
    This seems a little nuts, but kids do love to break the rules -and the harder the rules get, the more fun when you break them.

  3. In a few years, Georgette, when your kids are old enough to attend the prom, I’ll bet you won’t be so eager to mention your own youthful indiscretions.

  4. Walleroo,
    I was a good girl. I didn’t do drugs and didn’t drink until I was in my mid-twenties. However, I hung out with kids who did some heavy duty stuff.

  5. These kids are just going to do what all North Jersey kids do: Wait until they get to the motel in Seaside.
    Things might have changed in the last 10 years (which I doubt), but after my prom the kids who wanted booze didn’t have to try very hard to find an adult in Seaside willing to buy it for them.
    Usually it was the boyfriend of one of the girls who happened to be over 21.

  6. That’s a relief, Georgette. (I must not have read that carefully.) You are an inspiration to all parents of teenage derelicts.

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