Teen Report 4-19-07

Natalie Grise

April 19,2007

Not only is Vinton High School taking an initiative to combat drunk driving,  Calcasieu Parish Schools are also doing their part to prevent drunk driving on prom night.

Prom is a special time for teens, but mixing alcohol can have disastrous results.

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said, "every year you hear of people getting in accidents."

Sulphur High School principal Keith Bonin said, "once an accident happens, its tragic, its too late."

So now they're trying to stop teens before they ever pick up a drink, by making its teens take the same breath tests used at dui checkpoints

"You cant stop them from drinking," Bonin said. "But we can provide measures to curb that and make people think before they drink, and there will be people checking."

And for Sulphur High School, that means checking more than 400 people coming to prom.

"No one tested positive and it was a great atmosphere, it went well it was a great success," Mancuso said.

The sheriff's department obtained 30 breathalyzers through a grant and then trained school officials on how to use them. The process of training school officials took less than a minute to do.

Mancuso said, "That means the students that didn't drink could have a great time at the prom were able to do that without having the fear of someone coming in drunk and picking fights and causing problems because of alcohol."

Bonin said, "it's a different time now, we're all trying to look out for our kids so we didn't get any complaints from our parents they were glad we did it, and we really didn't have complaints from our students."

Not only is Sulphur taking precautions when it comes to drinking on prom night, three other Calcasieu Parish Schools used the Sheriff's breathalyzers.

Westlake and LaGrange administrators said the breathalyzers were successful.