Strong drinking policies enforced
By Becky Somerville
In the wake of a tough new anti-drunk driving law which took effect this week, Western and London police are cracking down just in time for a busy Homecoming weekend.
Const. Wendy McGowan of the University Police Department said extra staff will be on duty during Homecoming.
The UPD are coordinating their efforts with the London police to deter impaired driving and compensate for the influx of people arriving this weekend, she added.
"Homecoming can be very smooth and part of making it a good weekend is by planning it out well by us and the public," McGowan said.
From a preventative point, the UPD strongly recommends those who plan to drink should make arrangements for alternate, safe transportation. The UPD has a zero-tolerance policy for any alcohol-related offences, McGowan said.
"If we do stop a vehicle and we suspect alcohol has been consumed by the driver we will proceed with a roadside screening device," she said.
McGowan stressed the use of common sense if planning a party and advised students to be aware of the liabilities involved in hosting a large social gathering.
"Be responsible, have fun and be safe," she said.
Melissa Cousineau, University Students' Council VP-student affairs, told students to be responsible and take advantage of the bus pass in order to inhibit drunk driving.
"There's no point in telling students don't drink. It's far more productive to tell students to drink responsibly," she said.
London police are monitoring Homecoming weekend with a task force of 16 officers and personnel who will patrol the Homecoming area in order to circumvent any difficulties generated by alcohol abuse, explained Sgt. Gary Harding of the London police.
"It's sort of a tradition with the LPD that we conduct a zero-tolerance effort, particularly with alcohol," Harding said.
In addition, RIDE programs will be set up around the city and Richmond Row and fraternity houses will be monitored, he added.