Proms and PBTs

Spring is only a few weeks away. Soon preparation will begin for the rites of the season, among them pruning, planting, and, of course, prom.

A few weeks ago, I chaperoned a dance at my son’s high school. (I elected not to tell him that I was chaperoning, so you can imagine his reaction when he saw me there. For more about that, please check out my parenting blog.) When I walked into the gymnasium, I saw tables laden with dozens of bright yellow flashlight-shaped devices. The school had not stockpiled flashlights for gazing into dark corners. Instead, these were portable breath testing instruments awaiting samples of air drawn from the deep lungs of teenagers. Every student seeking admission to the dance was required to submit a breath sample. Only students who registered no alcohol concentration were eligible to attend the dance.

After the dance, someone asked me whether it was lawful for a school to require students to submit to a breath test before admitting them to a school function. My answer? Yes. My reasoning? See below.

Read more


PBTs and the Fourth Amendment

At the start of the fall semester, the Daily Tar Heel reported that Chapel Hill and Carrboro police officers have combined forces with UNC campus police in an effort to ramp up enforcement of laws prohibiting underage drinking.  The article states that undercover operations are among the tactics employed by the town’s Alcohol Law Enforcement … Read more