January 4th, 2008
06:16 PM ET

Mandatory Breathalyzers at high schools?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
One New Jersey high school is getting serious about teen drinking by making Breathalyzer tests mandatory at dances and other social events.

According to a local TV report, the school's superintendent says some students' behavior had left them with no choice. School officials say the test, which is similar to what takes place at a police traffic stop, sends a clear message about their zero-tolerance policy when it comes to alcohol.

And, it appears to be working. Students are passing the Breathalyzer tests, and other districts are now starting to do the same. One Connecticut high school is even implementing such tests on a daily basis when students are suspected of drinking.

Critics of school Breathalyzer tests say it violates student's rights. But the New Jersey school insists it’s steering clear of privacy issues by making the students sign a contract that says they have to take a Breathalyzer test if they go to school social events.

Here’s my question to you: Do you approve of mandatory Breathalyzer tests for high school students?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Michael from Philadelphia writes:
Jack, Having just been a high school student less than a year ago, I can tell you how rampant the alcohol and drug problem among our youth is. I can literally only name one peer of mine who has not done marijuana, and not one who has not drank alcohol. This is just one necessary step in reforming our schools.

David writes:
I do not approve of mandatory Breathalyzer tests for high school students. I believe we still need proof of a problem before we violate our students’ constitutional rights. Kids are Americans, too. What message does it send to young people if we do this?

Johnny writes:
As a former public school teacher, I have personally witnessed the decline in the active and diligent involvement of parental involvement in their children's lives. Schools are consistently being asked to everything but teach. Deal with manners, ethics, hygiene, respect, sociological issues, sexual orientation... While I don't relish the idea of Breathalyzers in schools, I certainly can't blame the schools for having to pick up where the parents have left off.

Dale from Texas City, Texas writes:
Absolutely NOT! My kids now have to take drug urine test to sing in choir at 13. I would like to pull them out of school and home school them or send them to private school. I expect the school to teach reading, writing and arithmetic. The school is not the parent and has no right.

Terry writes:
Jack, Let’s go the whole route: metal detectors, Breathalyzers, random drug tests, and whatever it takes to get back to making schools a learning environment.

Courtney writes:
I think it's a great idea. I'm just glad they didn't come up with it while I was in high school.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (141 Responses)
  1. Ed Reed

    Yes, and mandatory drug testing. And while we're at it, let's subject our politicians to mandatory lie detectors as well.

    January 4, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  2. Katy Hill Prescott, Az.

    No but they ought to be mandatory for government employees, especially postal workers.

    January 4, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  3. David A. Morse

    I do NOT approve of mandatory Breathalyzer tests for high school students. I believe we still need proof of a problem before we violate our students constitutional rights. Kids are Americans too. What message does it send to young people if we do this? I think our country has already gone too far under George W. Bush in violating the Constitution. Its NOT up to the government to raise our kids. Parents Must start parenting again and stop trying to be their kids friends. America's Teenagers need parents.

    January 4, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  4. Rich, Texas

    I had to laugh when I first saw this question and I got a picture of Rodney Dangerfield the comedian making a smart quip about it. Tough school I went to, the school was so tough they had to give each kid a breathalyzer test before 2nd period.. The idea behind this comes from kids being to drunk in class to pass tests and at school functions like dances being drunk and disorderly. None however, were operating motor vehicles at the time which is when you think of breathalyzer testing. I have a better idea for schools like that. How about an alcohol and drug awareness and prevention program and throw in a few of those other bad things like steroids and cocaine and heroin and marijuana that no breathalyzer is going to test for. The idea being to curb the drinking and narcotics use before it happens not wait and see who gets caught doing it. Who's tax dollars are paying for all this anyway those breathalyzers are not free nor is the schooling to be able to accurately use one or the lawsuit that will come when you violate someone's rights with it and its faulty results which does happen with operator error. Some poor diabetic child shows up going into insulin shock and you detain them for all the symptoms of being drunk and then they die because you wasted time jacking around with a breathalyzer test that they were to far gone or weak to blow into instead of calling 911. And what the hell ever happened to parents raising their children not to do things like alcohol? Something else for a school system to have to do because the parents refuse or are to stupid or lazy to do themselves.

    January 4, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  5. David Cissner,San Bernardino,CA.

    I am against mandatory breathalyzer tests and drug tests for anyone. Whatever happened to freedom from illegal searches to your person by government or anybody? As long as what anyone chooses to do does not affect their job,school,driving or impose on anyone else,just whose business is it?

    January 4, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  6. Gino

    Come on; come on... have schools use breathalyzers on students? How about letting the schools do what they are supposed to do, i.e., teach students what is needed for them to go into the world and do something good for themselves and their neighbours?
    Let parents be the "breathalyzers" handlers! Parents have a tendency to think that schools are the institutions available to take care of all their kids needs... surprisingly, as far as I know, there are no schools, I should say public schools that I know of, that will accept tykes in pre-school or Kindergarten that come to them with a bundle of diapers for the teacher to use when the little one had an urge! Teachers and their administrators are here to teach children and teenagers, give them the knowledge needed so that when they come of age, they will be responsible adults, they will go into a career they will have chosen because they would enjoy it, and thus they would be happy with themselves, and the their surrounding.
    The responsibility of seeing that a child does not drink or use drugs, whatever, does not go around with a gun shooting others, lies in the hands of the parents, not the schools! As a President of the United States, I think that the person who will be in that seat (and that's too far away for my taste! I wish it were in a month or less!) should enact a law that makes PARENTS RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR CHILDREN UNTIL THE CHILDREN ARE ADULTS!

    January 4, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  7. Ron Brackman

    Why mandatory tests? Are teachers not able to notice if a student has been drinking when in class?

    January 4, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  8. Danny


    I work as a psych nurse in Kansas City and if there is a reason to despense a breathalyzer test there must be a good cause. If we crack down on teenage drinking there will be a greater likelyhood that those individuals will not develop a drinking problem later in life. After all many of the role models in Hollywood that the kids look up to are real train wrecks and if the adults in thier lives would have cared enough to intervein early in life we would not be watching them making a fool out of themselvs on the evening news alomost nightly.

    January 4, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  9. Terry

    Lets go the whole route, metal detectors, breathalyzers, random drug tests, and whatever it takes to get back to making schools a learning enviroment.

    January 4, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  10. Scott

    not unless there's an automatic liar's test for elected office holders.
    b.g. , mo.

    January 4, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  11. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Jack,I am against mandatory Breathalyzer tests and Drug tests for any reason but cause. Whatever happened to freedom from unwarranted search in the Constitution. I also thought that our children were U.S. citizens. Our we so afraid of our children that we want the government to watch them all the time! We should be ashamed of ourselves. We have become 1984! George Orwell is laughing in his grave!

    January 4, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  12. W B in Las Vegas

    sure, as long as the TEACHERS get tested for Booze and Dope too. "Smokin' in the Boys Room" ain't about tobacco.

    January 4, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  13. Ed

    No mandatory breathalizers in high schools. Are we turning our schools into a police state? A few drinks in high school should be college prep studies as long as they don't get caught. Mandatory breathalizers are like goal tending and should be declared foul play.

    January 4, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  14. LGrayson

    What Senator's Obama win in Iowa means is that my country has finally grown up, and is judging him not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character.

    January 4, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  15. Beth from Michigan

    It probably won't do much good. It would only catch those who drink before the event, not those who drink after it. It might keep the events safe, but won't help the death toll on the highway.

    January 4, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  16. john

    No, absolutely not. I have a problem with the character, capacity and integrity of those that would administer the tests.

    January 4, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  17. Patrick

    Absolutely Jack. We need to make sure these kids are completing their required High School credits in Boozing so they are well prepared for college courses in Toga Parties and Frat Binging. It prepares them for the Senate you know!

    January 4, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  18. Patrick

    Absolutely Jack. We need to make sure these kids are completing their required High School credits in Boozing so they are well prepared for college courses in Toga Parties and Frat Binging. It prepares them for the Senate you know!

    January 4, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  19. Robert

    Then they need to put them in Congress, oh wait they won't detect all the hot air that they blow. Hopefully they'll invent one of those too.

    Fort Lauderdale,FL

    January 4, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  20. Julia

    Jack, as a high school senior I think that the administrators should be more worried about the amount of their students who smoke marijuana every morning before coming to first period. I do believe, however, that breathalyzer tests should be implemented if there is just cause to do so. A friend of mine was killed in a drunk driving incident last year due to underage drinking and driving, and no one's life should be taken in such a stupid and preventable way.
    It's lovely to see you again, Jack. I had surgery on my throat yesterday, and seeing you and Wolf gives me a reason to smile through the pain.

    January 4, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  21. Patty J.

    Breathalyzer today, urine and blood samples tomorrow. Why stop there? Why not implant each one of them with a GPS chip so if they're absent from school they can be tracked down (of course we'll first have them sign a "contract"). I totally disagree with this latest assault on civil liberties. I am so happy I grew up in the era that I did, rather than in the police state kids have to deal with now. I was a bit of a hell raiser as a teen and I turned out just fine. Leave the kids alone.

    January 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  22. John from Carlsbad, CA


    If the parents of these children have failed so badly to teach their kids the responsibility of alcohol and it is getting in the way of a safe and productive learning environment for other kids then we must do what we must do and allow these types of things.

    The problem is, if the kids get caught repeatedly then what? They get a slap on the wrist and put back into the same environment. I would say put them in mandatory drug education programs and fine the parents each time the student fails the breathalysers. Someone has to feel consequences and it should be both the kids and the parents that feel these consequences.

    January 4, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  23. Emily

    As a high school student, I support Breathalyzers before dances. I would much rather want a school mate to get busted for drinking than to injure themselves and/or others before or after a school function. Maybe if parents were more proactive and paid more attention to their children, we wouldn't have to waste taxpayer money on Breathalyzers.

    January 4, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  24. Karen

    Go ahead. I have a teenager. I'm not sure what 'cause' would need to met regarding children breaking the law. Is that weaving, smelling like a brewery, disrupting class, vomiting, passing out or requiring an ambulance because of alcohol poisoning? I'm a little sick of the spoiled, self-entitled brats (of spoiled, self-entitled parents) whining their way through the school system. Don't want to stop drinking in school? Fine don't. Pass a law that requires a bucket by each desk. Better yet, home school. You are getting in the way of my child's education. I completely respect your right to give your child alcohol. Do so generously.... my child will be competing for jobs against yours and rotting your child's brain secures my child's future. Drink up!

    January 4, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  25. Mark


    America is a God fearing country, that is how Bush weazeled his way into office. As long as God remains the focal point of main stream America, no Muslim (Obama) will be elected president. Iowa is not the litmus test.

    Huckabee on the other hand is delusional. Why on earth would we consider putting another Republican in the White House, when we are still trying to get rid of the current one ...even if he plays the God card? Canl the Republican Party fool us again?

    If you apply "The Separation of Church and State" to the argument, as the Constitution requires us to do, then Hillary makes the most sense. She saw first hand how to create a sound economy, a balanced budget, and money in the bank.

    January 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  26. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Yes and while they're at it give all the staff the same courtesy.

    January 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  27. Joy Paquin

    The idea a student would be asked to take a breathalyzer test is a GOOD thing. It may deter students from drinking and driving on campus. Alcohol is a legal drug and easy to come by. The results of drinking at a young age can and most often does bring about major problems. To ask a student to remain sober while on campus isn't too much to ask and in the long run may save someone's life!

    January 4, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  28. Mike

    I have a better idea, how about tougher sentences for people contributing to the delinquency of miners. It's through our own negligence that kids get access to alcohol to begin with. Bigger fines and/or longer jail times might make someone think twice before leaving the liquor cabinet unlocked or selling beer to a miner.

    January 4, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  29. Ruby Coria, CA.

    Jack, we who are recovering know that a breathalyzer isn't going to stop anything. The only thing that would happen is they will find a way to get around it. I saw this problem when I was in high school 19 yrs. ago and at that time there was no talk or not as much talk about the risks.. I recall seeing a liver damage by alcohol in health class, but that was about it. We do need more intervention when they are young, otherwise they will have a damage liver like I do now. Mandatory no more knowledge and intervention yes. p.s thanks Wolf for whishing us well here in CA., with our wacked weather.

    January 4, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  30. Rich, Texas

    LOL, Ron Paul isn't even wanted by Fox news how is he going to get elected. Ron Paul? Get real people 10 percent . pssst.

    January 4, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  31. Frank

    Absolutely NOT!!

    Since when has it become the job of the schools to tell students HOW to live....

    There is something missing in this country, we are relying too much on the government and others...
    I have the answer to EVERY problem it is:Personal Responsibility.
    I've Only seen one Candidate truly pushing for Capitalism , the Constitution, and personal responsibility. He is a Republican And I don't think i have to mention the Great Dr.'s name. You will see it enough in New Hampshire. Huckabee is now picking the Dr.'s strong points and marketing them to the American People.

    Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death.


    January 4, 2008 at 6:07 pm |
  32. Amit Singh

    I think this will nip the very stupid notion of being cool in the bud. It will be like a compromise between being popular and social and addiction, instead of the traditional notion of going hand in hand. I think it is a good idea, and gives teens more time to think about whether they want to give in to addiction or become more popular and more social.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  33. Courtney

    I think it's a great idea. I'm just glad they didn't come up with it while I was in high school.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  34. Tyler


    I am a recent high school graduate. At my high school there were breathalyzers present before prom and other dances. No students were upset by this becuase they knew that it was intended to keep everyone safe. I commend this school corporation for taking the right steps to ensuring that their students have a safe time.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  35. Kevin

    Sounds good to me. people under 21 are not allowed to drink and while that law is a bad one that is the law of the land. Students in high schools have very few rights as, so there is no violation of their rights. Beyond that, no one is forcing them to go to the school social function. Test away and hats off to the school for this

    January 4, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  36. Michael, New York

    Jack, I graduated high school in 2002 and was always required to take a breathalyzer test before entering football games, dances, or any school run social function. It didn't make a difference, though, if we wanted to get drunk, we did it AFTERWARD.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  37. Danielle

    This is just another way that big gov't is trying to take the place of parents in our children's lives. Not all of us are like Britney Spears who desperately needs intervention. Most of us parents would welcome the opportunity to do more to influence our children without a public agency making such things as breathalyzers mandatory for recieving an education. Maybe less gov't intervention and more parental responsibility and consequences.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  38. Penn Dalton

    I think its a great idea. My high school had one at every social event, although some students hated it, it served its purpose.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  39. Orville

    Its time the adults start acting like adults. Children today have gotten out of control. There is a very good reason that we have laws establishing a minimum age for drinking. If it stops one teenage drunk driving death i am all for it. By the way Jack i think you are a god.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  40. Andy

    If I had a high school age kid I would not let them sign any agreement to take a breathlizer at the whim of some school official. These young people are Americans and have the right to privacy, the right to their body's as their own. I would tell my kids not to take any breathilzer. And if the school had a problem I would want to come and see why and what the problem was.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  41. Johnny Jones

    As a former public school teacher, I have personally witnessed the decline in the active and diligent involvement of parental involvement in their children's lives. Schools are consistently being asked to everything but teach. In addition to dealing with manners, ethics, hygiene, respect, socialogical issues, sexual orientation...well the list is endless. And we haven't even gotten to the 3 R's! While I don't relish the idea of breathalizers in schools, I certainly can't blame the schools for having to pick up where the parents have left off.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  42. Kurt

    I agree with mandatory testing. The only way to counter the "superman" complex that most teenagers possess (the worst outcome will not happen to me) is to adopt aggressive strategies to discourage extremely risky behavior.

    Someday, these adolescents will thank those who cared enough to save them from a horrible fate.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  43. Evan Thomas

    Are you serious!?

    January 4, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  44. Geoff

    Absolutely. Kids these days seem to be drinking earlier and earlier, so proven deterrents like mandatory breathalyzers don't bother me at all. I think it's just one small step in the fight to teach our children how to act more responsible – unfortunately, it's a fight we don't seem to be winning yet.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  45. Tommy Brown

    Yes I am for Breathalyzer test.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  46. Chris Bizzell

    As a high school senior, I agree with making Breathalyzers mandatory before dances, but making them mandatory before school would be a waste of time. In my experience, teenagers (not including myself) may drink before a dance, but they do not do it before school.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  47. Andrew, Illinois

    What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Submitting these kids to mandatory Breathalyzers automatically makes the assumption that they are drunk. Instead of worrying if children are drinking, why not worry about why America is falling behind other countries in terms of education? Not only does it seem like a violation of rights, but it looks to be a waste of resources.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  48. Alice

    Students hand over many of their rights, like the right to smoke, or carry a fire arm if 18 years of age, when they set foot on a public high school campus, and submit to the authority of the school's administration. It is up to the administration to maintain the safety and well-being of every student, at any on-campus or off-campus school sponsored function as seen last year when a school principle suspended a student for bringing inappropriate signs to a school sponsored function. The Court upheld that principal's right to fulfill her duty as a public school administrator. Teen drinking very clearly puts many students at risk and thus the administration fulfills their duty by issuing these mandatory Breathalyzer tests.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  49. Chris McLain

    The law says students can't drink, enough said. As for the constitutional argument, if they're breaking the law already, they obviously don't have much respect for the constitution in the first place. Why anyone could possibly defend high school student's right to drink in a court of law is beyond me.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  50. Christopher Deal

    My only response to this would be "the end does not justify the means"

    This is a clear attack on our civil rights and liberties. The Government is supposed to protect our privacy not allow all types of arbitrary testing to "GET RESULTS"

    If you look under every rock on earth your bound to find at least 1 worm.

    By the way Jack I applaud you for your "FAIR & BALANCED" reporting on congressman Ron Paul, unlike some other news agencies out there *cough* FOX*cough*

    Thank you and have a very great 2008


    January 4, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  51. Jacob Shipton

    Absolutely not. This is another step in a trend by schools to assume guilt of the students. Rather than "innocent until proven guilty" in our schools its "guilty until proven innocent." Punish those who commit the offenses but don't assume that all students are participating in underage drinking. I graduated from a public high school in 2004 and I never participated in underage drinking. School leaders nowadays would rather assume guilt and punish everyone for what only a few do rather than just punish the offenders, After all, aren't all teenagers smoking, drinking, doing drugs, and having sex? That's what the School System thinks.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  52. Deb

    Absolutely! Kids should not be drinking and CERTAINLY should not be drinking at school. Over the years, teachers have been stripped of THEIR rights regarding the discipline and management of students and classrooms. It's time for adults to be adults and schools be schools and instruct our children through education, guidance, limits, flexibility, example and with loving firmness. While we don't want to see abuse of power, until you are working and contributing to society and on your own, it's not a democracy quite yet for you!

    January 4, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  53. Phoenix Asifa

    Call me crazy but the last time I checked underage drinking is against the law. It might be a bit invasive but if can save lives then I'm all for it.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  54. Brian

    I think the big problem with this is that this breathalyser testing might just drive kids to use other substances at these functions which will not be detected by the test. Substances like crystal meth, ecstasy, marijuana, cocaine, etc. I would much rather my child drink a few beers than use drugs.

    Little Elm, TX

    January 4, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  55. Mike Gitchell

    No we don't need that, we already have enough of our rights violated. I mean, we're supposed to be a free Country. Now we hardly have any privacy, pluss now we're going to cry wolf before anyone's commited the so called crime. Lets leave this up to the parents to regulate their children, and if they do wrong, then well, punish them, but to put kids through a breathalizer is just crazy, whats wrong with this Country!?!?

    January 4, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  56. Larry Marsh

    High school students are second class citizens They still require guidance and special rules.Until they leave home and pay their own way , the rules of adults just don't apply.

    Larry Marsh
    Frederick, Maryland

    January 4, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  57. Mike

    I believe that many of these attempts to curve teens from drinking are not working. It is the parents responsibility to keep kids off alcohol, not the governments. Also, the making teens sign a contract usually have a heavy punishment for not signing it. This counters the point by forcing students to sign yet another binding contract that they have no way to get out of. This is not the way a free country is run. The number of drinkers at these events is silenced by fear, not by education.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  58. John Cantees

    I say scrap this idea. If all the highschool social events require the students to take a breathalyzer test, then they will simply go drink somewhere else. This idea is a waste of time and effort that could otherwise have been used in more constructive ways like improving the quality of education in our highschools.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  59. Ashley

    I myself am a high school student in Mississippi. A numerous amount of students at my school drink, and they drink alot. I'll attend school dances and get trampled by intoxicated teenagers. They think its cool to get drunk and then brag about it. I think it is a perfect idea to give them this test. There definately will be more dancing room, because more than half the kids there are drunk. Go ahead, I support this 110%

    January 4, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  60. Matthew monahan

    yes, drug testing as well. Being a ninth grader myself, i an forced to put up with drug users everyday.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  61. Hunain Muhammad Shaikh

    I think it is a wonderful idea...I'm quite sure that the parents will feel that their kids are out in a much safer environment. I believe that this process will prove to be a success where ever implemented in reducing many alcohol related crimes and/or disturbances and will make for much safer communities.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  62. Ryan Menchion of Newfoundland

    they shouldn't make brethalyzer tests mandatory, they shouldn't have them at all. like the critics say it violates their privacy. and im not sure about the US, but in canada you can only use brethalyzer tests if the person breaks the law. same thing with the canadian bill of rights: you are free to privacy, you may not be searched and tested without a court order (unless you break the law).

    January 4, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  63. James Arthur Strohm

    What's with New Jersey? Did they secretly repeal the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence when the rest of us weren't looking?

    Requiring high-schoolers to submit to a breathalyzer test to attend a high school social function is a clear-cut violation of both the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Any student in a high-school civics class can tell you that. And every student in the school should boycott every school social function. Or - should those more correctly be termed school National Socialist functions? Because it sure sounds like a different regime in a different time, and not the America I know.

    Oh, wait, I forgot - these schools in New Jersey, one of the original 13 colonies, are Federally controlled schools under the aegis of the Department of Education. So they don't teach frivolous elective subjects like the supreme law of our country.

    James Arthur Strohm
    Libertarian candidate for US Congress
    District 21 Texas

    January 4, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  64. Jonathan Nelson

    This is one of the best ideas I have heard since the institution of metal detectors in schools. Lets just face it, children are criminals.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  65. Chris

    Mandatory breathalyzing seems to be the next step in a long trend of curtailing students' and minors' rights. Drug testing has already been widely implemented, so the question should be what comes next? Mandatory 'Pat Downs,' lie detector tests, etc. Students and minors should have their rights protected as should any other citizen. It might be wise for us as a nation to take a step back before such draconian measures spiral out of control and our public schools resemble prisons.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  66. Jennifer

    As a mother of 4. I feel if that they suspect a child is drinking they should do a breathalizer.
    A child has no rights when it comes to drinking.
    IIts ileagal. There writes end where mine began.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  67. Brandon Yates


    I think that is a great idea. Next schools should enforce mandatory body fat tests, to make sure only the students eating a healthy diet can attend school sanctioned social events.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  68. David Carroll

    It is simple Jack –

    People do not do what is expected – They do what is inspected

    January 4, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  69. Eric Sandoval

    The only people who should be scrutinized in this country are our members of the Federal and State governments, our law enforcement from the top down, and our media magnates... aside from that, this is just one more nail in the coffin of our beloved country, as the fascists continue their unchallenged takeover of the United States...

    I understand that these people want to use a breathalyzer on our high-school students for their own protection, but this is just over the top. I'm tired of this totalitatrian tip-toe towards complete scrutiny of anyone and everyone all for the purposes of "protecting" us from ourselves.

    Like the old saying goes Mr. Cafferty, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."

    Aside from that, I think you, unlike most of the others at CNN, are doing a fabulous job. You're one of the only ones who seems to come from a position of personal conscience and sanity.

    Keep it up!!

    January 4, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  70. Jill Duncan

    No, I do not approve of children being giving a Breathalyzer test to children. 1). Children can not enter into contracts 2). Privacy rights 3), Just have parent come and get kid who acts up–hello.
    -Jill Duncan

    January 4, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  71. Jarrett (AL)

    The Supreme ct. has continually proved that student rights are limited in school; cases such as Bethel School Distric No. 403 v. Fraser, and Hazelwood school district v. Kuhlmeier support this claim. As a high school student, I feel that the presence of intoxicated students at social events would ruin the experience and enjoyment involved in the function; consequently, breathalyzer should be allowed.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  72. Chris

    "making the students sign a contract"
    If all students are being forced to sign a contract to attend school this is ridiculous and almost certainly in violation of the state and federal constitutions even if the events being referred to are optional. No student should be forced to sign a "contract" in order to attend school.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  73. Chris

    I approve 110%. This is not an issue of violating rights. These kids take advantage of their rights and start hurting other people as a result. When teens are able to understand the meaning of respect and good behavior than they can have their rights. One should have to earn his freedom these days because of how bad they abuse it. Highschool and college students; if you want to be treated like adults, you must ACT like adults! Make these teens blow and blow really hard into that machine baby!!


    January 4, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  74. Thom, Bemus Point, N.Y.


    I,m the Vice President of a school Board and I think that all schools will experience problems with alcohol, but I don't think making any more things MANDATORY than what we have now is helpful. Allow those decisions to be made locally. What should be made mandatory if anything, is parenting skills, so we don't have young adults coming into schools under the influence. Oh, by the way, I don't mean that the students need to be taught parenting skills, the parents are the ones that don't accept responsibility for their children. It's always someone else's fault.


    January 4, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  75. Chip

    While I am all for privacy as a supervisor in a Public Library, I think Breathalyzer tests are a great idea. They are underage, and it is dangerous to drink when you don't know enough to not drive or not to get into a car with someone who has been drinking.

    I am an adult child of a recovering alcoholic, and have benefitted from the fact that I never touched any alcohol until I was twenty one, and that is the reason I feel I am an occasional moderate drinker. Addictive habits start at a young age, and prolonging a child's access to alcohol will only help them in developing healthy habits and preventing dependence. Laws that protect us without infinging on our liberties are okay, just like the speed limit and safety belt laws.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  76. Kevin

    As a high school student in New Jersey I have watched as our New Jersey schools have stepped over or tried to step over our rights, including the highly debated Bush mock trial for crimes against humanity to show students the process of the court system that went to the school board in a High School in Parsippanny, New Jersey. Although they eventually were allowed to have this mock trial to demonstrate due process to the students, it is another example of these schools' passiveness on the students' clear freedom and rights. These breathalyzer tests obviously take away our right to privacy. When this school said that this was working because students were turning out to be sober at these social events, this should be a wake-up call to the school that these students were not drinking in the first place.\
    Kevin, New Jersey

    January 4, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  77. Jennifer

    Its school they have test of one kind our another that we must pass to graduate. Whats one more test.?

    January 4, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  78. Burk

    If school officials have discovered a problem with alcohol among their students, then the answer is YES. The mandatory breathalyzer testing should take place. I'm so sick of the doctrines of excusability that have become so commonplace in our society. Why have laws if they go unenforced? Schools need to be tougher on students and let them know it isn't ok to drink underage or come to school drunk. It is preparation for the professional workplace. What kind of message should we be sending? Being a high school teacher, I know that it really does only take one bad apple to affect classroom atmosphere and learning. It should be stopped at the door so all those who want to learn can do so.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  79. John, New York

    I think there is too much focus in this country on alcohol consumption. Why else would it be that 18 year olds can drive, elect leaders and carry fire arms, but can't consume alcohol? As a recent high school graduate, I KNOW drinking isn't as big as a problem as people say. Sure kids drink, sure kids get drunk, but it's a small minority who's inconveniencing the rest.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  80. Miguel, Austin

    You hear talk about how many convictions is fair to require breathalyzers to be mandatory to turn on an alcoholic's car. Accidents don't happen only after someone has been caught a few times drinking and driving. They can just as easily happen when someone who is drinking for their first few times gets behind the wheel. I don't see why we can't have breathalyzers as standard issue on all cars. With that said, sure a school should have the right to give a breathalyzer test or any other drug test to their students provided that they have the student and their parents consent. Otherwise without consent they won't be eligible for athletics, dances, and other clubs and events. I also wouldn't begrudge a district that says only students who submit to random drug testing may attend their schools. These are the times we live in with our children subjected everyday to easily accessible weed, nicotine, crystal meth, alcohol, ecstasy, and other drugs.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  81. Nick

    We might as well add a metal detector along with some dogs to sniff for bombs and drugs. And maybe some barbed wired fences to make sure we keep those dang students from actually getting in the school and learning.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  82. Frankie

    No... I don't think it should be mandatory for a student to blow in order to attend a school function such as a dance. Granted yes they are underage but at the same time they do have a right to privacy and reasonable doubt.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  83. Cameron Perceful

    Absolutely not. Public schools are not instruments of Law Enforcement, and should not act as such. They exist to educate, not to regulate behavior. By all means, they can regulate drinking in the school and at school events. However, anything that happens elsewhere is none of their concern.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  84. Evan

    I think that a breathalyzer test on high school students is a good thing. If the students are drunk during class they can't learn. If they ar drunk at a school dance, then afterword when the students want to go driving, the test will then save lives. The best way end drinking in teens though is parents. If the parents can't do anything then the school should by having breathalyzer tests.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  85. Klaus Doose

    Since parents regretfully are unable to teach their children the basics in behaviour, the state unfortunately has to step in.

    What is wrong with demanding basic behaviour and basic ethics; similarly conforming to basic rules? If it means that mandatory tests for drugs, alcohol, substance abuse need to be implemented, so be it. Society is not a free for all for any. Democracy is NOT the dictatorship of the few over the many.

    In business some companies test for drugs and substance abuse already. We have to get back to basics and that means either parents step in and teach their children behaviour, or the state needs to substitute for their failings.

    So there is NOTHING wrong with high schools testing their pupils. Just like testing for doping in sports, this is the right thing to do.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  86. Carrie Dingee

    When I was going to school 40+years ago, I would say no to a breathalizer for high school students. However, today with the problem of drug and alcohol abuse among young students, I would not only give a breathalizer but a blood test as well.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  87. Chris

    "steering clear of privacy issues by making the students sign a contract that says they have to take a Breathalyzer test" ???

    Forget the actual test–forcing students to sign a "contract" if they attend public school is unconstitutional even if they events referred to are optional.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  88. Clydene Pekrul

    By ALL means.............YES!!! Test all of them for alcohol. Only wish there was a breath test for DRUGS TOO!!!

    January 4, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  89. K.G. Foster

    Jack, it's a sign of the times. kids might as well get used to this kind of treatment now. Have them sign the contracts under duress. The way things are going, in the future we will have a breathalyzer in every car and at the office. Civil rights are on the decline nation wide.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  90. Betty Cranford

    Dear Jack,
    I am absolutely in support of the Mandatory Breathalyzers at high school
    functions. It's time we got aggressive about the seemingly insurmountable
    drug & alcohol problems among our youth. Lives could be saved physically
    as well as emotionally. As a parent and grand-parent, this problem is of
    major concern to me. Thanks for all the issues you cover.


    Betty Cranford
    Gadsden, AL

    January 4, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  91. Richard

    How can some one that is not patriotic to the US of A be doing so well in this race unless he is getting all of the students that have not followed what their Country has had to do over the past 200 years to ensure there freedom, or is it that all the illegal aliens that are taking over got their leader in place.
    He does not belive in the Flag or Pledge of Alegience or even the Constitution from what I have seen and feard.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  92. Lindsay

    Who will be paying for these breathalyzer tests? Taxpayers? My high school, along with many other high schools, suffer from dramatic underfunding for arts, music, and language programs. Instead of using that money to pay for unneccesary breathalyzer tests, use that to improve lacking programs to benefit the students. That being said, these breath tests are above all a violation of student rights and do little to combat teenage drinking.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  93. Sanders from Tennessee

    I agree with most of the other comments posted. Breathalyzers should NOT be mandatory, same with drug tests, etc. More rules, more rebellion. I know from experience. Parents should be monitoring their teens and schools should be for education and teaching obedience like being quiet when others are talking (example). Schools should educate the students about the consequences not try to catch them in the act. Plus, parents have more of an effect on their kids than a class talking about underage drinking. Step up parents and make sure your kids are into the right things.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  94. Lindsay

    Who will be paying for these breathalyzer tests? Taxpayers? My high school, along with many other high schools, suffer from dramatic underfunding for arts, music, and language programs. Instead of using that taxpayer money to pay for unneccesary breathalyzer tests, use that to improve lacking programs to benefit the students. That being said, these breath tests are above all a violation of student rights and do little to combat teenage drinking.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  95. Vj

    I Think it is a wonderful idea to make students do this. Many students do not obey the under age drinking law in the first place. They also disregard the dangers of drinking and driving. This law is for their own protection as well as the protectiion of others in the community.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:30 pm |
  96. Ann Sand

    ALL high school students should have mandatory breathslyzers. I am a left wing liberal, but when it comes to our children, I believe we are doing our children a huge disservice to take the position that we violate their RIGHTS by protecting them. Excuse me, but teenagers are NOT adults. Parents must assume their parental responsibilities to get them to adulthood alive. This mandatory testing is a step in the right direction.

    There is a great deal of research that proves that the development of teenage brains is permanently hindered by alcohol. In the same way that effective and loving parents give our children curfews, set boundaries until their judgement developes, we MUST put everything in our power into place to prevent teenage drinking.

    This doesn't even take into effect the impact of impaired teenage drivers; the devestation and loss of life caused by impaired teenage drivers impinges on the rights of ALL people. Their "rights" stop when other innocents are injured.

    It is time parents quit trying to be their children's friends. There is plenty of time for that, once our children's brains develop and mature and they become adults.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:30 pm |
  97. Kristen

    Breathalyzers are simply a way to enforce the rule that every student knows but many choose not to follow. I don't have any problem with enforcing a rule that keeps our kids sober at school. The problem I foresee, however, is an increase in prescription drug use, above and beyond its presently common usage.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:30 pm |
  98. Kenneth E. Banks

    Yesterday, I had to be strip searched before I could enter the court house to buy a fishing license. To obtain the license, I had to provide my social security number. Underage drinking can ruin one's career. However, the schools are going too far in their attempt to control it. It should be controlled by the parents. All levels of our government and society are rapidly becoming control freaks, trying to control ever aspect of our lives. The terrorists, socialists, far left, etc. are winning, they are destroying our democracy and individual rights!

    January 4, 2008 at 6:30 pm |
  99. Ismael

    My answer is No. I'm tired of Government being involved in all aspects of our lives. Schools are no longer addressing the real issues pertaining to education now they are turning into a Bureaucracy which thinks they can make their own laws. First they try to screen our teens in schools by offering incentives such as free movie passes, gift cirtificates, ect. to see if parents are abusive, using drugs, all aspect of the family and now this.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:31 pm |
  100. Gary from Maryland

    Absolutely not. At some point in the not too distant future we are going to wake up to a world without any personal liberties. At that time, we will only have to look in the mirror to locate the ones to blame. It should never be a surprise that our Government is all to willing to swoop in on their white horses to save us from ourselves, the power seekers that they all are. How ironic is it when we call for the Government to take over the responsibility for keeping our kids sober, then we wring our hands over the irresponsibility of so many parents??

    January 4, 2008 at 6:32 pm |
  101. Heather

    This is AMERICA! The land of the brave as well as the land of the FREE!! A country where you are INNOCENT until proven guilty. Just walking through the door of a school for a dance or other school function does not make the entire student body guilty of drinking. Because our school aged children are minors- the school cannot give them breathalyzers without a parents permission! If they do give a breathalyzer to a child without a parents consent- the parents can- and SHOULD- sue the school!! My husband and I would also remove our children permanently from any school district that would even consider such an assault on our fourth amendment.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:33 pm |
  102. Maria

    When I first heard that a New Jersey High School was making there students have a mandatory Breathalyzer test, I wasn't surprised. As as 19 year old just graduated from high school in a small town last June I understand where this school is coming from. My graduating class was 40 and I can bet that about 10 of my former classmate were under the influence. Most parents don't think that this school should be making mandotory Breathalyzer test but, what you don't understand drugs and alcohol are easily available to teen now a days. If a school what to make their school and drug free they need to make they need to adapt to there environment.

    Brewster, WA

    January 4, 2008 at 6:34 pm |
  103. Sandi Greenberg Michaw

    I believe the schools are washing their hands of the entire students' drinking problems by using the breath analyzers by sending them away from the school functions and allowing the students to do their drinking after the function at some other spot and thus becoming a threat to themselves and others.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:34 pm |
  104. Glen Pritchard

    People have made good remarks on both sides of the issue. I'll freely admit that I'm adamently opposed to giving teens breathalyzer tests without cause. It breaks down the understanding of "illegal search and seizure" and tells them that the police state is normal. Our Founders must be turning over in their graves over this (and those boys could drink! Ever read how much alcohol they drank every single day while they were writing the Constitution?)
    FWIW, I "grew up" in the Alateen program (for kids of alcoholics) and have been an adult advisor to my church's high school youth group for over 10 years, so I know a bit about substances and teens. It's been my experience that, for the most part, if you treat someone as suspicious they are more likely to decide to act that way; if you treat people with dignity they are more likely to act accordingly. Why not teach teens the value of good citizenship, grace, dignity and character rather than potential criminals.
    I hope that the school in NJ gets a fat law suit over the way they are trying to get around the law and that the current school board gets voted out in the next election.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  105. kalu

    Every measure should be used to tackle teen drinking because a lot of lives have been lost from our ignorance. Americans should rather be safe than sorry and I do not think "privacy" should be an excuse. I mean, come on, it is illegal for teens to drink, period!
    Kalu Igwe
    San Jose, CA

    January 4, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  106. SCR

    Yes, Yes, Yes, we agree with this as much as we agree with drug testing, random locker checks, and just as important, making students dress apporopriately in schools (dress codes which you will never see) as well as teachers! Young people need to start being held accountable for their actions!

    January 4, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  107. Mike Falba

    I most definitely agree with mandatory Breathalyzer testing for high school students.

    Perhaps if my high school had taken an interest in monitoring alcohol consumption and provided an abstinence program for those of us who drank at such a young age, I could have avoided a 20 year nightmare as a practicing alcoholic and my family could of avoided the nightmare as well.

    I've been sober for 17 years now but looking back now I sincerely wish that I had never taken that first drink and I think if just one young person could be spared the detrimental effects of alcohol, the program would be well worth it.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:38 pm |
  108. Chris

    For the students? How about a Breathalyzer test for those proposing this ridiculous measure?

    January 4, 2008 at 6:40 pm |
  109. Tim Tigner

    While I fully appreciate the gravity of the civil liberties toll this requires, I have to believe that the naysayers would all change their tune if one of their loved ones were among the 17,000 American lives claimed each year by drunk drivers.

    Kids are drinking. Kids are driving. Kids are killing and dying. If responsible adults can use good judgment and modern technology to minimize this, it seems worth a try.

    There is a better technology out there for this than a breathalyzer. TruTouch Technologies makes a completely non-invasive alcohol meter that reads your alcohol level by shining a light into your skin–like one of those palm readers you see in action movies.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:41 pm |
  110. Robert

    I think its a great idea. We should also put electronic leg bands on them, camera's in their cars, and peep holes in their bedrooms. Some things look good on the surface, but once you start down this path its hard to stop.

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    January 4, 2008 at 6:42 pm |
  111. Kay

    yes! test them on the way in and out the door to cut down on drunken behavior and drunken driving!

    January 4, 2008 at 6:43 pm |
  112. Henry from Philadelphia

    Speaking as a high school student, I think that breathalyzer tests during school events should not be mandatory but should be conducted under suspicion of particular students. I am strongly against mandatory tests on a regular basis during school hours – it is a violation of people's privacy – if a student is being disruptive to others as a result of alcohol, then he or she should simply be asked to leave class.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:44 pm |
  113. Rob

    I would agree to mandatory testing of teens at dances, when the same policy is applied to the Congress, military, and government employees when they go to work each day. They work for us, and have better benefits and salaries than many tax payers. Or just drug testing in Congress would be an even trade off in civil rights.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:46 pm |
  114. Lindsay, North Branford CT

    Who will be paying for these breathalyzer tests? Taxpayers? My high school, along with many other high schools, suffer from dramatic underfunding for arts, music, and language programs. Instead of using that taxpayer money to pay for unneccesary breathalyzer tests, use that money to improve lacking programs to benefit the students. That being said, these breath tests are above all a violation of student rights and do little to combat teenage drinking.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:47 pm |
  115. Chris

    Testing for alcohol? – Yes. We will be sending a clear message to our students:
    Use other drugs when attending school functions. Marijuana anyone?

    January 4, 2008 at 6:48 pm |
  116. Harold Smith

    I believe we should administer breatalizer tests to the idiots who come up with these ideas in the first place. We wonder why our youth do not trust school authorities, priests, politicians, sexually perverse teachers, each other etc., etc. We teach children not to trust strangers. Test those in authority who are drunk with control and power. Maybe, just maybe we're once again blaming our youth for the shortcomings of those in authority. Is it alcohol that causes school violence or a licentious legitimizing generation of self righteous authority figures?

    January 4, 2008 at 6:49 pm |
  117. Danny


    You just said on the air during the strategy session when referring to Clinton as the establishment candidate. I'll tell you whats worst: 4 more years of George W Bush, and all of his cronies. Too bad there are only 381 days, 17 hours, and 8 minutes left until they are all jobless!

    January 4, 2008 at 6:52 pm |
  118. Brad Bolnik

    Yes, I certainly agree testing high school students for alcohol abuse is fair. Let's not forget foremost they are "minors". Most high schools have somewhere in their student handbook alcohol is prohibited in school and on school grounds. Besides we may very well be saving teen lives when they leave the school function and get in their cars to drive home.

    January 4, 2008 at 6:52 pm |
  119. B. Kelly

    When I was in high school we were always drunk and high. The eighth grade science teacher got on us once but my buddie was passed out and never even heard him. They should have tested us. There would only be a few students left. Teachers would put themselves out of a job. A better idea would be to test congress and the president being they actually have an effect on all of us. Why is it always the bottom of the pile being tested(hourly workers/non-voting hs students). Screw that. Test the ceo's and a$$hole politicians.

    January 4, 2008 at 7:01 pm |
  120. Scott R. Wolcott

    I think MANDATORY testing is a waste of time. If you have a problem student then test them and expel them if it proves positive.

    Some of the other people posting messages here have it right as well. Parents don't teach anything. They expect the schools to do it all for them and then they complain when things aren't taught the way they want them to be.

    I think we as Americans need to look to other countries for examples.
    Primarily school uniforms.. Take away the fashion fads, especially the wearing of pants down around your ankles. Don't these children know where this originated and what it really means? Besides the fact that they have zero fashion sense or common senes.

    Schools are supposed to teach the basics. Students are not there for amusement. They are supposed to learn to be a part of society, not a burden on it.

    January 4, 2008 at 7:06 pm |
  121. Mike Elston

    I think it's an excellent idea. Hundreds, if not thousands of underaged drinkers are still being killed each year because their alcohol consumption went undetected. Many who attended "school functions" such as dances, came to the dance or left the dance driving a vehicle while drunk, or as a passenger of an inebriated driver; only to end up another heartbreaking statistic. I'm quite sure that the parent's who get the telephone call or the knock on the door late at night informing them that they're needed at the morgue to identify their child would've waived their child's "civil rights" immeditely if they knew that a simple breathalyzer test would've prevented such a catastrophe. If an ensuing lifetime of pain & sorrow can be prevented by what's being described as a violation of a student's "civil rights," SO BE IT! I'd rather have a kid alive & mad at me over a breathalyzer test administered at school, than knowing that this kid could still be alive if only alcohol would've been detected in advance of a tragedy.

    January 4, 2008 at 7:23 pm |
  122. Brian Green

    No I don't approve of it.
    Not every high school student is going to be drinking, so why treat them all like they have committed a crime by showing up at a school event.
    Teenages who are going to drink are going to drink whether anyone likes it or not, and it' much better for them to be taught responsibility, and have safe places to go. All breathlizers at school or school events are going to do is drive those who drink away from school events and lead to more drop outs, as they will try to defy the system, and go to places that may not be so safe for us or them to be, or even be cruising the highways drinking and driving to where they might injure or kill the others.
    I don't belive it takes a breathalyzer to tell whether someone has been drinking or not, and it will easier to catch those who have been drinking before they get behind the wheel and out on the road without the breathalyzers at school events.

    It's just another example of how far the government is going to deprive American citizens of our rights and privileges. The more the the government tries to make the schools like prisons and treats the students like prisoners, the more students will want to try to defy them, and who can blame them.
    It was so bad when I was in high school, with them even talking school uniforms, etc..., that even the teachers were dropping out because they wanted to teach instead of being prison guards.

    January 4, 2008 at 8:05 pm |
  123. Tim B.

    I am soooo tired of the general public thinking they can make a difference or that any candidate out there EVER is any different than Eddie Murphy's persona in the movie The Distinguished Gentelman.

    Every candidate I have ever seen in my 38 yrs says the same ...We ran a positve campaign..a campaign on the issues..the issue is change..change for the future...children are our future..we will lower taxes and will will raise your quality of life..I will lower taxes..etc.etc.

    It is the same old rhetoric time and again, yr after yr, yet no one seems willing or able to point this out. Whether it be for fear of losing their job, postion, personal social standing or whatever it is a shame. To myself and I HOPE to most of my gereration (the X generation) this is a travesty. This yr as like many before are nothing more than a bad movie come to life.

    I would hope that at least as candid jorunalists such as yourself and Mr. Blitzer you would FOR ONCE repeat previous candidates promises to show all Americans that it is always the same ol' same ol'. They all promise the same for the times they are in and (almost) NEVER come through.

    Just the fact that journalist could find so many sound bites and speeches from past and current Presidents, Senators, Congressman and Reps that would make them so them as fake yet not use it makes me wonder as to how high it all goes.

    Huckabee playing the Bass as Clinton did the Sax....Edwards dressing down in a mock bomber jacket..everyone eating Apple pie at the Merrimack Diner in Manchester, NH..all before they win or not. It is the SAME OL' SAME OL'

    I am a Republican and for ONE reason only...they make the smart and rich RICHER as I am and have become. The only difference I have seen is that they (Republicans) are pretty upfront about it or at least are perceived as such, whereas the Democrats mask their hunt for power and glory in the desire to help the masses.

    Either way as the old saying goes "the reason the general public are the general public is BECAUSE they are the general public"

    I hope you comment on this during the Sit Room, yet I am 90% sure it will never come to light as we all pay our own price for social comfort. The truth much like history is written by those that win or shape it.

    As is today 1/5/08 at 2:10 am I will wait, watch etc for some comment on Monday 1/7/08 after 4 pm and I HOPE that even if you dont print or directly respond to any of this you will at most propose as sutable Cafferty question on the topic and judge for yourself.

    Thank you for lettting me vent and continued success in any and all endevors.

    TB – Londonderry NH

    January 5, 2008 at 2:14 am |
  124. Hubie Nelson


    Breathalyzera for high schools is a NO NO. A student can have a beer for his / her birthday the night before and can't go to school the next day, none sense.

    If things keep going the way they going in this country in a few more years we will be given breathalyzer to enter any public bulding. What next? Shame, shame,

    Olive Branch MS

    January 5, 2008 at 9:03 am |
  125. David A. Linkenheimer

    The Tenth Plank of the Communist Minefesto is "Free Public School Education"

    It is not supprising that these people (defacto communists) want to do away with or limit or curb any notion about citizens having a right against self-incrimination, 5th ammendment.

    Communists are control freaks and care not for any of our individual constitutional rights; allways seeking ways to subvert them in favor of collective rights to equal misery.

    Being taught, (brain washed) to be anti-communist, by propaganda while in grade school 1956-1964 (The Domino Effect – Vietnam); has produced the desired effect. I dont care for (Domestic) communists who may declare that they are democrats or republicans; their actions speak much louder than their words.

    January 5, 2008 at 10:49 am |
  126. Bob Flannery

    Sure breathalyzers are in order and might help in keeping order. What's the follow up? Does somebody drive the "drunk" home and screen the parents? It all ties in with cultural defects and substance abuse of every kind. Lets hope someone in schools is checking pockets and backpacks for heroin cheese and "oxyies." All informants should be given A+ in citizenship. Breath tests don't indicate drug use that sometimes shows up only at the autopsy.

    January 5, 2008 at 12:15 pm |
  127. Paul

    How about mandatory brain detection....students and teachers?

    January 5, 2008 at 12:18 pm |
  128. Femi

    The country is ready for a blackman at least in Iowa. Although I feel Obama can help Kenya and Africa more than he can help the US.

    Africa need an Obama, to take Africa out of darkness, out of corruption, out of disease ...to grateness.

    US have enough talents to lead the country. Go Obama! Go Barak! Go Kenya!!

    January 5, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  129. Femi

    The country is ready for a blackman at least in Iowa. Although, I feel Obama can help Kenya and Africa more than he can help the US.

    Africa needs an Obama, to take Africa out of darkness, out of corruption, out of disease …to greatness.

    US have enough talents to lead the country. Go Obama! Go Barak! Go Kenya!!

    January 5, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  130. Chas

    In 2005 the percentage of the U.S. population who were heavy users of alcohol was 150% of that in 1995. Many of the 500+ alcoholics I worked with told me it only took a few years of heavy drinking to damage them enough to be alcoholics – disabled for life. All get nerve damage and fear brain damage. Many commit suicide.

    I am for freedom. Part of that is freedom to stop people from injuring themseves.

    Schoolboards that allow drink at school activities risk lawsuits. Every board in the U.S. should expect higher insurance premiums to cover that risk . All of us will pay more taxes for courts, healthcare, police, prisons, and welfare because of more alcoholics!

    January 5, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  131. Helen


    What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Is this the United States of America or the Republic of America?

    I do not believe in drugs or drinks by teens I also don't believe in a police state either.

    I was in school in the late 60's when drugs flowed like water, never did any, not because the school checked but because my parents would do to me what the law would not allow them to do in this day and age.

    Maybe this type of policing wouldn't be necessary if parents were again allowed to be parents and didn't have to worry about being chastised for not being a doctor Spock parent .

    January 5, 2008 at 11:22 pm |
  132. Jerry

    Its not about violation of privacy. If your in school and the school board says your going to get a alcohol or drug test, the students should shut their mouths and get it done. It is about curbing underage drinking. Alcoholism is on a rise in the country and if we start with teenagers then maybe we can make a difference. If the students and parents don't like it, they go to a private school.

    January 6, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  133. Barbara R. Harper


    January 6, 2008 at 7:23 pm |
  134. humbert humbert

    Why in the name of God is the media out to destroy Clinton?

    She did a credible job in the debates. She gave specific
    examples rather than political hype.

    She caught Edwards in another of his lies.

    She isn't sharp enough for you?

    January 7, 2008 at 12:33 pm |
  135. gfors

    coming to class drunk is one thing, a different issue all together than drinking for social functions. this distinction is important, as they are 2 issues. coming class drunk regularly is alcoholism or on the road to it and should treated as such through counseling.

    kids attending social activities boozie is not a big deal, and is in fact preferable to kids drinking in rock quarries in the dark in the middle of January. kids are going to drink, they probably always have and probably always will, policies should be pragmatic about keeping people safe, the NJ school's breathalyser policy is just a means of saying "we don't want to be the ones to deal with this".

    January 7, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  136. Roxy in TX

    This is similar to the "illegal immigrant" issue – are they breaking the law? Is it against the law for high school students to drink – are they underage? It is no different than drugs in school or at school functions!

    January 7, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  137. Tom Smalley,IOWA

    Hey jack ,this may be going to far In the usa witch stands for freedom ,but where do we go from here? I am one that every time they raise tobacco taxes so should alcohol taxes! but the powerfull washington lobby won't let washington vote on this? I say if we do this to our children then shouldn't we first demand this in our teachers,judges,police ,fire ,buss drivers ,train engineer's, federal and state legislators, city councill and school boards first? A good start would be to take the advertisements off ALL tv and radio?
    thanks and remember to keep your stick on the ice ,were all in this togeather

    January 8, 2008 at 12:46 am |
  138. Bob Robertson

    Just one more good reason to homeschool.

    The public schools resemble prisons more and more each day. I don't think this is a coincidence, it's merely form following function.

    January 8, 2008 at 7:54 am |
  139. john wagner

    A high school students rights are not being violated by a relatively non-invasive procedure like a breathalyzer–since they are too young to drink legally in any case.
    A urinalysis is however another matter.

    January 8, 2008 at 8:45 am |
  140. Brian

    Beware the slippery slope my friends!!......a very wise man named Benjamin Franklin once said "Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither."

    January 8, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  141. Carl E. Grund

    Yes, I approve breathalyzer tests for highschoolers, because I have a daughter
    who became addicted because of the ease of securing alcohol of teenagers.
    They start drinking in their teens on the sly and a bad habit can be started
    with distaterous consequences. But it all starts with the movies and other
    media who crank out their trash which includes drinking and other stupid
    behavior of underage kids. Those media should be held accountable and
    they should receive so much negative media attention that they stop those

    January 8, 2008 at 6:28 pm |