Where do Alcohol Awareness Classes and Civil Liberties Collide?

by: Mike Miller

Let me begin by saying that I have the utmost respect for law enforcement officials. I also believe in breath tests. But there are times when people in positions of authority overstep their bounds. Fifty years ago, it would have gone unnoticed or uncontested – not anymore! 

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against a Detroit, Michigan suburb, saying teens on a school trip were forced to take an alcohol test after an administrator found an empty liquor bottle in the woods.

Given the facts so far – do you think they were within their rights to give those breath tests right now?

This past June a 13-year-old student was at a school-sponsored picnic in Livonia's (Michigan) Rotary Park, celebrating his class' graduation from Discovery Middle School when he and four other friends went into the woods for a short walk. When they returned, they were accused of drinking by the assistant principal who had followed them into the woods and found an empty liquor bottle on the ground.

The ACLU said the principal called police even after the students denied any drinking.

Livonia police gave the teens breath tests, of which they registered a 0.00. How about now – were those breath tests warranted?

The ACLU filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Livonia on behalf of the 13-year-old boy. The lawsuit said parents were not contacted ahead of the test nor did officers get a warrant.

When there is no evidence that a child has done anything wrong, should he be subjected to this degrading and embarrassing procedure in front of his teachers and peers?

In my opinion the teachers went too far. Steps need to be put in place so tests like this do not happen. There is no doubt the ACLU, like a hungry bulldog, is not going to let this one go. The school district will pay and so will every student at that school and in the school district due to the financial loss the district will be forced to take.