Alcohol and prom don’t mix for some students

Staff report

An unspecified number of Aspen High School students received a three-day suspension after showing up to last weekend’s prom under the influence of alcohol, an Aspen police officer said Tuesday.

“A number of kids had alcohol prior to coming (to prom),” said Officer Brian Stevens, the department’s school resource officer. “That is not OK to do at school events.”

Officials called the parents of kids caught under the influence to come pick them up at the dance, Stevens said. They each received a three-day suspension, though they could have gotten five days, he said.

Stevens refused to say how many students were suspended.

Tharyn Mulberry, Aspen High School principal, also declined to comment on how many students showed up under the influence, or any other details of the situation. He said he could not talk about specific student discipline issues.

However, in general, he said that if a student arrives at a school event and is suspected of consuming alcohol, he or she can admit to alcohol use or take a breathalyzer test. Such tests are always administered by law enforcement personnel, and the school district does not own a Breathalyzer, Mulberry said.

Stevens said he was present at the dance Saturday and wasn’t specifically called to the event. He said he and the school resource officer for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office typically attend most school activities, including sporting events and extracurricular activities.