UAPD takes to Mall to perform sobriety tests as part of Alcohol Awareness Week

By Craig Degel

Arizona Daily Wildcat

For the first time, the UA Police Department will demonstrate a field sobriety test today on the Mall when Student Recreation Center employee Chester Artman will be tested after drinking a six-pack of beer.

The demonstration is part of National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness week.

"In the past, we've always used Tucson Police Department because their equipment was mobile," UAPD Sgt. Brian Seastone said. "Being a university event, we're taking the lead with it."

Stephanie Ives, a graduate assistant with the UA Health Promotions Department, said that the idea behind the activities which run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is to promote awareness about the use of alcohol on college campuses.

"It's not our policy to teach people to abstain," she said. "But we teach people to have the knowledge to make the best choice for themselves."

Ives said that the promotions department has been doing a continuous study since 1991 about the use of alcohol on the University of Arizona campus and have found that 63 percent of students say they have 4 or fewer drinks when they go out and that 90 percent of students have not been in trouble with residence halls or police.

"They acknowledge that they drink," Ives said. "But they do it moderately."

All colleges are free to take part in awareness week, Ives said, but they may choose to run activities at different times during the year.

The department has also recruited the help of different campus clubs and Greek organizations.

Three sororities, Pi Beta Phi, Delta Gamma and Alpha Phi, will be serving non-alcoholic drinks that Ives called "mocktails".

Kappa Alpha Theta sorority will run a wall on which students can place anonymous personal stories about alcohol.

"It's anonymous because we don't want people to put up a really personal story and then have everybody read it and go up and talk to them."

Free gifts were donated to the department by State Farm Insurance, Sausage Deli and the UA Athletic Department. Students will also have the chance to receive a free chair massage from the Focus Massage Group, Ives said.

Music group "Justifiable Groove" is scheduled to perform two shows on the Mall in front of the ASUA Bookstore.

Student alcohol counselors, Frisky Business, the UA's safe sex peer education group, campus rape educators and SADD will also participate.

"We want to let people know that the free and confidential counseling in health promotions is not just for their own use," Ives said. "But it is also to talk about friends, relatives or significant others."

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