Operations

Chauffeur Blows Whistle on Boozing Promgoers

LCT Staff
Posted on May 2, 2007

COLUMBUS, OHIO — Upper Arlington schools are assessing how to conquer the culture of teenage drinking after banishing 125 students from prom. "We will restructure prom. It will be completely different," said high-school Principal Kip Greenhill. "We have to do this. I would be negligent in my duties if I did not take this on."

During one of the school district’s proms, a limousine driver alerted school officials that students had tried to bring alcohol into the vehicle. The tip prompted school administrators to search that limousine and about 10 others. Greenhill said administrators confiscated "a substantial amount" of alcohol from eight or nine of the vehicles, including vodka and cases of beer. Students in those limousines were not allowed into the dance. Those who appeared intoxicated were given suspensions, he said.

Greenhill said he has not decided how school dances will change, though several ideas, such as sponsoring a pre-dance dinner, have been discussed. Of the 840 students who had tickets for the event, 125 were turned away from the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion in the Arena District. Some also were suspended, but Greenhill would not specify how many. Students were sent back home in the limousines or called their parents for a ride.

Even before arriving at Upper Arlington's prom, limousine drivers removed alcohol, including bottles of whiskey, from bags where students stored clothes for after-prom parties, according to the managers of the limousine companies. Greg Walker, a manager at Classic Limousines, said drivers there are given an hour-long training session before each prom season on how to spot hidden alcohol, from smelling water bottles for the scent of vodka to searching bags for beer. But he said students have become more covert by hiding flasks in their tuxedo coat pockets. And, he added, "one of our biggest problems is the parents allow it."

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

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