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Campus and community businesses partner in alcohol awareness campaign

RELEASED: Feb. 22, 2010

EAU CLAIRE — The Center for Alcohol Studies and Education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is teaming up with local restaurants and bars to distribute educational materials related to alcohol consumption. The campaign targets off-campus students.

CASE logoDooley's Pub, Mogie's Pub and Restaurant and the Pioneer Tavern will allow blood-alcohol concentration charts to be hung in their restrooms. Wallet-size cards also will be available for students to take with them.

The posters and cards display the specific blood-alcohol concentration levels related to weight and number of drinks, with one version for men and one for women. Several phone numbers for local taxi services are provided. Three concentration "zones" are listed for people when drinking: the green (.02-.07), the yellow (.08-.19) and the red (.20-.31+). The cards advocate that people stay in the green zone, be careful in the yellow and stay out of the red.

"This is an easy way for students to keep their drinks in line," said senior Rachel Murray, West Allis, a peer educator for CASE. "These packets include helpful information to look at while drinking, and the taxi numbers can be especially useful."

Murray said off-campus students, juniors and males in particular are at the highest risk for drinking too much. The goal of the campaign is to offer alcohol consumption information and encourage responsible drinking to an audience somewhat difficult to reach, she said.

In addition to the cards, Buzzy's Pizza Emporium, Erbert & Gerbert's, and Jeff and Jim's Pizza will be putting stickers with responsible drinking messages in their takeout food bags or containers. Part of another CASE campaign called "0123," the stickers caution students to have zero drinks if driving or underage, a maximum of one standard drink per hour, a maximum of drinking two times per week and a maximum of three drinks per occasion. The stickers will be used Thursdays through Saturdays.

"It is really great to partner with these local businesses," said Jennifer Lee, director of CASE. "They care about our students as well, and businesses are less likely to be damaged when people drink responsibly."

The campaign will start with businesses on Water Street, but the goal is to expand farther in the community, perhaps to places on Barstow Street, Murray said. "We would like to reach all of our students, not just those living in the Water Street area or on campus," she said.

Murray said she hopes students of legal drinking age realize they can still have a good time with a few drinks or staying in the green zone, instead of drinking to the point of being "smashed" or until vomiting occurs.

CASE is involved with numerous alcohol awareness activities throughout the year, teaming up with the county health department, the Eau Claire Area School District and local neighborhoods through the Bridge Campus-Community Coalition. The coalition holds an annual summit on high-risk drinking and works on tactics to reduce underage consumption and alcohol abuse among students.

CASE's programs include peer outreach education, education and training for faculty and staff, and outreach to parents and alumni. Some specific student programs include "Alcohol and Athletes," "We've got your BAC" and "Alcohol and Gender."

For more information about CASE or to participate in this and other campaigns, contact Jennifer Lee at leejs@uwec.edu or 715-836-5111.

-30-

LA/RD/DW

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