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TALK BACK: Spotlight on call for breathalyser testing in schools

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

TALK BACK: Spotlight on call for breathalyser testing in schools

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Last week, Government senator and church leader Rev. Dr David Durant called for breathalyser testing not only for vehicle drivers, but in secondary schools and in workplaces.
Durant said the introduction of breathalyser testing would “save quite a number of people from death or injury” on the road. It would also be a deterrent to driving under the influence and help individuals act more responsibly.
He also called for vehicles to be put on the market with the breathalyser machines already installed.
Durant was speaking at an event where the National Committee for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (NCPADD) marked the 150th anniversary of the island’s first road fatality.
Online readers seemed to be puzzled about this. Many queried why there would be a need to do breathalyser testing in schools.
Many felt this was more needed on the roads.
Another question raised was what would be the follow-up action if a school child or a worker tested positive.
Here are some of their views:
• En Dee: Why on earth do we need breathalysers in schools? And, what are we going to do if we find that a student or two had a drink? What about the ones who have had drugs? The breathalyser will not detect those drugs. Let us spend the money on teaching, intellectual stimulation, positive extracurricular activities and guidance. Bored and misguided students lose their way and get into trouble.
• Mac 10: Cameras and breathalysers in schools but not where they are needed – the roads – makes no sense at all.
• June Skeete: Pastor Durant also said the time had come for all vehicles to reach the market with breathalyser machines already installed. Listen, Rev., why you don’t write Ford, GM, Hyundai, Toyota, Mercedes Benz, BMW, and so on, with the suggestion and let them put it in the Guinness Book Of Records as “the most ridiculous letter ever written”?
• Andy R. Boyce: What about in Parliament?
• Olutoye Walrond: How absolutely ridiculous! Breathalyser is a mechanism to prevent drunk driving. Why would anyone want to disrupt the school routine by putting it there?
• Pam Cummins: I am curious. So what happens afterwards? Is the child going to be excluded from school, or be given lessons about the dangers surrounding alcohol? And how about the workers: are they going to be sacked immediately if found positive by the breathalyser?
• Princess Tiny Neferua: Don’t forget the church and Parliament too . . . .
• Ronald Hazell: In schools? What purpose will it prove? They don’t drive and cause accidents, so why schools? This is what our tax money does pay these people to do?
• Archangel Crichlow-Daniel: In schools? You need dem pun de road.
• Sherrylyn Toppin is THE NATION’s Online Editor.