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Breathalyzer pilot program launches at Belmont High School

Posted by Leslie Anderson  January 17, 2013 06:04 PM

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Belmont High School is testing out a breathalyzer policy aimed at deterring students from drinking before or during social events, according to Interim Superintendent Thomas Kingston.

Daniel Richards, the High School’s principal, posted “quick facts” about the policy on his blog on Thursday. The 2012-2013 school year is the pilot year, according to the blog post, and will help determine how the policy and protocol should be crafted for the 2013-2014 school year.

The pilot program will take effect in February, according to Kingston. The first dance is Feb. 9.

Breathalyzers will not be used during the school day, according to Richards’ blog; they will only be used at school events. School administrators will conduct the testing in private. Depending on the event, either all students will be selected to be tested, or every fifth student will be selected.

Any student exhibiting signs of intoxication will be tested. Signs administrators will be looking for include slurred speech, unsteady gait, impaired motor skills, glassy or bloodshot eyes, smell of liquor, vomiting or evidence of possession of alcohol.

Students who test positive will get two more tries to pass the test. Students who are determined to be intoxicated or to have used alcohol will have their parent or guardian called.

The rules from the high school’s handbook, which allow administrators to involve the police, still apply, according to the blog post.

Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com

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