No failed breath tests at Portsmouth dance

No failed breath tests at Portsmouth dance


PORTSMOUTH — A new policy that allows for random breath tests of students at dances and other functions was enforced for the first time at Saturday night’s Homecoming dance at Portsmouth High School.

breathalyzerAll students who were picked to take the test passed, according to Principal Robert Littlefield.

The principal updated parents on the matter in a group e-mail Sunday morning,

“Very successful night last night, over 700 kids in attendance with no problems,” Mr. Littlefield stated. “Everyone arrived on time, the students were very cooperative with the random breath tests. We gave 71 breath tests — every one negative.”

At the end of the night, he said, five of those students tested went home with gift cards from the dance’s raffle.

“Thanks to everyone for your cooperation,” Mr. Littlefield stated in the e-mail.

At its Sept. 24 meeting, the School Committee approved a policy that allowed for the random breath tests, which measure blood alcohol level. Previously, adult supervisors at dances and other school functions were allowed to test only those students who were already suspected of underage drinking.

Under the new policy, students draw a ticket which may select them randomly for a breathalyzer test. If they refuse to take a ticket, they are sent home.

Students who choose to take a ticket are automatically entered into a raffle to win a prize.