WEST ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Suffolk County authorities are empowering parents to help keep their teens safe this prom season.
Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent F. DeMarco handed out free alcohol testing kits at West Islip High School on Tuesday.
The kits, which are part of the Sheriff’s “Test, Don’t Guess” initiative, are quick and easy to use.
“You rip open the package and you swab the inside cheek of their mouth and you get an instantaneous result whether or not they’ve been consuming alcohol,” DeMarco said.
DeMarco said the kit is simply another tool that parents can use to open up the dialog about the dangers of drinking and driving as summer approaches.
“It’s all up to the parents, we don’t want to know the results and if they choose to test their children that’s a family decision,” DeMarco said. “Sometimes you don’t think that certain things are important because ‘Not my child, not in my school district,’ but it’s everywhere. Kids are kids no matter where they live and it’s very important for parents to open up that dialog.”
Students at the school approved of the initiative.
“I thought it was pretty cool, I thought it was the most effective thing I’ve heard of so far,” senior Mike Sutter said. “It’s black or white, one way or the other.”
“I think it’s a cool idea,” senior Jennifer Duey said. “I’m not sure how other people would feel about it. Personally, I have some friends who do drink and probably wouldn’t like the idea of a quick breath test.”
The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office will also have drug testing kits available.
The kits were purchased with money seized in drug busts.
For more information on the “Text, Don’t Guess” program, click here.
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