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UW-Eau Claire Students Work to Reduce Number of People Who Drive With Blood Alcohol Levels Over Legal Limit

RELEASED: April 13, 2009

EAU CLAIRE — A group of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students are working with a victim's advocate from MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) to help reduce the number of people in Eau Claire who drive with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit.

The students — who will fulfill their service-learning requirement by participating in the project — will conduct breathalyzer tests to check the blood alcohol content of students on Water Street starting the night of April 18.

The students will be in the parking lot on the corner of Fourth Street and Water Street from 11 p.m. April 18 to 2:30 a.m. April 19. They will conduct checks with willing bar patrons who are passing by the parking lot.

Organizers hope that giving students just-in-time information about their blood alcohol level and information about impairment at their current level will cause them compare how they feel with their actual level of impairment.

During past blood-alcohol checks, students have sometimes decided against driving after realizing that they were more impaired than they had believed, organizers said.

Participants in the testing will receive wallet-sized cards showing how to calculate blood alcohol concentration and information about local transportation options.

The students coordinating the April 18 event will use the information they gather to conduct research aimed at gaining a better understanding of transportation practices of students after they have consumed alcohol, Darrik Erikstrup, a student organizer.

For more information about the project, contact Jennifer Lee, director of the Center for Alcohol Studies and Education, at leejs@uwec.edu or 715-836-5111, or Jacqueline Bonneville, MADD victim's advocate, at bonnevjk@uwec.edu or 715-836-3487.

-30-

JB

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