Planning to drink at prom? You could get arrested

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Act 1152 went into law last July and states that any person under the age of 21 caught with any alcohol in their system is unlawful.

3-3-203. Purchase or possession by minor.

(a) (1) It is unlawful for any person under twenty-one (21) years of age to purchase 

          or have in possession any intoxicating liquor, wine, or beer.

    (2) For the purposes of this section, intoxicating liquor, wine, or beer in the body of a 

           minor shall is deemed to be in his or her possession.

Jonesboro's prom will be held Saturday night, and students had better come sober because Jonesboro High School and the Jonesboro Police Department say that any child who has consumed alcohol will be arrested. 

"We're tired of people coming to our dances and functions and being inebriated or under the influence. Is there anything we can do about it?"

That's what Principal Mike Skelton said he was told by students who liked  the idea of breathalyzers.

Junior Amor Rivera says she has no problem with the checks.

"It protects the students and the people around them and the people chaperoning them as well."

JPD officer Sheridan Watts is also a school resource officer, and says the test won't delay party goers

Watts, It's very non invasive. Just blow in here in this plastic cup, it will show in here for the presence of alcohol . If it's no just go on, just a few seconds."

But if alcohol is found in those few seconds... Sgt. Lyle Waterworth of the Jonesboro Police Department says that is a whole different ball game.

"There is a chance of being arrested if alcohol is smelled on or about their person or alcoholic beverages are smelled on or about their person. said Waterworth. He went on, "Getting arrested could get you charged with a class C misdemeanor and there is another penalty that strike teens to their very core. At the time of arrest, regardless if they have been found guilty or not they have to surrender their drivers license at that time. If found guilty they could potentially lose their license till their 18th birthday."

Junior Lilly Pitts said she sees no problems with that. "It's Illegal and everyone going to the prom is under 18 so it should be punished."

Principal Skelton says there would probably be school repercussions as well if a student is arrested. But says, "this isn't a witch hunt."

Skelton, "We're just trying to take care of our kids here and do hopefully what's in their best interest. And hopefully the parents will be supportive as they have been in the time I have been here. And what we are trying to do to keep our kids safe."

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