Derby High School adds Breathalyzer to after school activities

DERBY, Kansas — Derby High School already has random drug testing. Add the AlcoBlow to the list.

“They blow onto the end of the wand and it has three indicators to see if they’ve been drinking,” says Derby High Principal Tim Hamblin. “We are doing this. It’s already been deployed at the first football game. We have two.”

“Teenage drinking happens. I’m not about to believe that does not go on at Derby High School or any other school in the USA. But with drinking, sometimes, bad things can happen. The consequences can be life-altering or the tragic loss of life.”

Derby says it will only use the “AlcoBlow” system on a student, if someone comes forward and states a student may be drinking or intoxicated.

“We won’t be roaming the stands at games,” says Hamblin.

The idea is met with mixed reviews from students, who wonder if the idea is a good one.

“It’s kind of yes and no,” says Derby Junior Courtney Anderson. “If you’re not doing it (drinking) then you shouldn’t worry at all. ”

“It’s known. Teenagers do drink,” says student Jackson Howard. “In some circumstances I think it would be necessary if you know they are intoxicated at a sporting event like that. ”

Mixed reviews. But, is it legal?

Law analysts say rights of students have been through the courts when it comes to students and drug and alcohol testing.

“Maybe the bigger question here is how will the school do this?” asks legal analyst and Wichita attorney Dan Monnat. “Might we find that a disproportionate number of students with face metal and tattoos are being tested? Or, might we find that a disproportionate number of students who wear hoodies are being tested? The school has to be very careful to administer such constitutionally permissible procedures as these in a non-discriminatory manner.”

Some parents are onboard, saying it’s a good idea.

“I think it’s a good thing,” says parent Sean Larson. “It will keep our kids responsible and let them know there is some consequences for that.”

School leaders say they will be judicial in their use of the AlcoBlow device.

“If there is a positive test, we will call the police,” says Hamblin. “Teen drinking is just not legal. Also, we will not test a suspected student in public. They will be pulled aside and two administrators will view the procedure.”

If a students tests positive, and the subsequent police breathalyzer test confirms the AlcoBlow test, there could be a student suspension.

The system is already in use, and will be available for all extra-curricular activities.  There are no plans to have parents tested.

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