Vice Squad
Sunday, March 14, 2004
Witchhunts Back in New England!

For some time now, many employees of the town of Seabrook, New Hampshire, have been subject to random breathalyzer and urine tests. Apparently there's been a problem with maniacal, intoxicated behavior by other town employees not subjected to the testing regime, however. So now Seabrook has closed this dangerous loophole, by overwhelmingly voting to require all town employees to undergo alcohol and drug testing:

"Following Tuesday’s vote, all town employees, including those who serve on town boards, will be subject to random drug-and-alcohol testing, according to Town Manager Fred Welch. Union contracts will need to be negotiated to include the requirement or the contract will not be valid, he said on Wednesday."

Where did this outstanding idea originate? Well, it is sort of hard to say, as this Boston Globe article reports. An article in today's New Hampshire Sunday News (registration required) doesn't fully clear things up, either, but it does offer up a gem from a selectman who favors the new rule: "Asked if he thought such testing might violate people’s privacy, [the selectman] said: 'I don’t know that there is such a thing as privacy rights when you work for the people.'" Incidentally, the testing mandate applies to volunteers who serve on various town boards.

Update: I really have to start reading Vice Squad. Seems that Seabrook is the very town that Vice Squad member Nikkie identified as being in the midst of a heroin epidemic.

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