Breathalyzers in schools

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Here's an interesting SJ Mercury article about how schools are using breathalyzers on their students:
School officials say they've turned to breathalyzers to curb periodic alcohol-related problems at campus events, from students vomiting or passing out, to teens becoming contentious when confronted with their drunken behavior.

``Students would show up drunk at the dance,'' said Nikolai Kaestner, student activities director at Palo Alto's Gunn High School. ``It would take an hour before the kid would admit to it. Now we don't discuss it with them. We just breathalyze them immediately.''

Gunn began using the devices at dances last school year. To bypass potential legal challenges and community concerns about students' civil rights, Gunn -- like most area campuses -- tests students only if there's reason to suspect they've been drinking. The penalty for a positive result is a five-day suspension, which is reduced to three days if the student agrees to attend counseling provided by the school.

Schools can already require drug tests for participation in pretty much any after school activity. People respond to incentives, so I wonder if this kind of enforcement is going to result in a secondary market for extracurricular activities like sports and dances. Ordinarily, I would imagine it would, but the kids aren't generally the ones paying and lots of parents are happy to see their kids drug tested...

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