New Jersey District Implements Random Alcohol Testing

Published: February 1, 2007

PEQUANNOCK, N.J. – Random urine testing for alcohol will begin this week in a New Jersey school district. Pequannock Township High will be one of at least two district schools to administer the EtG test, which can detect whether alcohol was consumed up to 80 hours prior to the test.

Directed at students who have been drinking over the weekend, the test identifies ethyl glucuronide, a substance the body creates when it metabolizes alcohol.

Civil liberties advocates view school drug testing as an invasion of privacy and have found something as simple as mouthwash to produce positive test results. A school district official stated that the test has been changed to detect higher levels of intoxication than that produced by such items.

A three-year, $120,000 federal grant funds the testing, estimated to cost $20 per check. Students participating in sports and other extracurricular activities have already been subject to testing since a heroin overdoes incident in 2005.

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