Alcohol testing before prom is becoming increasingly common. Making sure students stay safe while attending events like prom is very important to high schools, and testing students for alcohol can help to achieve this goal. Many high schools are starting to test students for alcohol before allowing them into the venue that is being used for prom, and some schools test before allowing the students to leave as well. While some people may consider the testing of alcohol consumption before a prom or any event an invasion of privacy, it's widely considered a useful tool to keep kids safe and discourage underage drinking. Some high schools will only test a student if he or she shows signs of drinking, but it's becoming increasingly popular to have teachers test every student as tickets are taken.
Pros and Cons of Alcohol Testing Before Prom
There are many benefits of alcohol testing before prom, but there are also drawbacks. While most people would agree that testing teenagers is important, there are also those who think that mandatory testing is invasive and violates students' privacy.
Some benefits of alcohol testing before prom include the following:
- Reduced drunk driving accident rates for the teenagers who attend the prom
- Less fighting and bad behavior related to alcohol consumption
- May discourage teens from consuming alcohol before prom, as well as trying to sneak it into the building
- Can help raise parents' awareness of teen drinking and encourage family involvement
There are also a few drawbacks of pre-prom alcohol testing:
- Argued lack of privacy for the teenagers who are being tested
- Negative attention that may arise if a teen tests positive for alcohol
- Fear of incorrect positive results and teens being kicked out of the dance for doing nothing wrong
Usually, schools will agree that the benefits of alcohol testing before prom outweigh the drawbacks, since saving the life of a student or a member of the community from a drunk driving accident is more important than anything that might worry those opposed to the testing.
Methods of Testing
There are several different ways to test teenagers, or anyone, for alcohol consumption:
- Using a breathalyzer test
- Urine testing
- Saliva testing
- Hair testing
- Blood testing
The use of a breathalyzer is probably the most common form of testing done by schools, since it is not as invasive as some other forms of testing, is more cost-efficient, and produces results more quickly.
Teen Drinking Statistics
To fully understand the importance of alcohol tests being given before proms or other school events, it is helpful to know some teenage drinking statistics. A few examples, according to the SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) website, are as follows:
- 75 percent of high school students have consumed alcohol before the time of their graduation.
- 41 percent have been exposed to alcohol before eighth grade.
- 58 percent of high school seniors say that they have been drunk at some point in their lives.
- 28 percent of high school and college students killed in car crashes each year had been drinking at the time of the crash.
- Drivers who have been drinking are less likely to wear a seatbelt than those who have not been drinking.
- More males than females drive under the influence of alcohol.
- 39 percent of all fatal crashes involve alcohol during the week, and 52 percent during the weekends.
Preventing teenage drunk driving, and teenage drinking in general can save many lives and help make the community a safer place. Pre-prom alochol testing may be one way to accomplish this goal.