Volume 92, Issue 20

Wednesday, October 7, 1998



Drunken awareness

By Mark Brown
Gazette Staff

"Know your limits" was one of the messages students received last night at Saugeen-Maitland Hall during the first in a series of presentations to the student residences on drug and alcohol awareness.

The presentation was given by Const. Wendy McGowan of the University Police Department, author of The Drinkers' Handbook and Kirk Sinclair, counsellor at the alcohol and drug service of Thames Valley. Four volunteers who were willing to drink for a good cause also participated.

The goal of the presentation was to teach students to plan their social activities with safety in mind, discourage binge drinking and increase the awareness that those under the influence are vulnerable, McGowan said.

This presentation has been held for the last three years for students at all residences on main campus and at Huron College, she added. "Ideally we would have liked to have done it before Homecoming but we just couldn't fit it in last week."

Students were also given several facts to consider the next time they go out. "A Mike's [Hard] Lemonade contains 70 per cent more alcohol than a light beer," Sinclair said. He added most people do not realize this difference and may become more drunk than anticipated.

"Just because you don't feel intoxicated doesn't mean you don't have a high blood-alcohol level," Sinclair said. "If people drink a lot they don't really know how long it stays in their system."

Ryan Duffy, first-year kinesiology student and volunteer at last night's demonstration, said he was glad he took part. "I am really happy [the UPD] did this – I thought I was able to drive even though I blew over."

McGowan stressed the road breathalizer test is only a tool. A police officer can still charge someone with drunk driving if they believe someone is intoxicated or if a person is not cooperating with a breathalizer test.

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Copyright The Gazette 1998