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Archive for Wednesday, December 9, 1998

PANEL OFFERS ALCOHOL-CURBING PLAN

December 9, 1998

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The city, Kansas University and Haskell Indian Nations University will decide what to do with recommendations completed by an alcohol task force this week.

The fine for those under age 21 caught in possession of alcohol should be raised from $200 to $300 for the first offense, while alternative events to drinking parties should be explored for local minors.

Those are two of 11 recommendations offered this week by a joint city-universities task force on alcohol.

The task force, which was formed to curb alcohol use by high school and college students under the legal drinking age, will forward its recommendations to city and university leaders.

"We're going to be discussing it with the mayor when he considers an appropriate time to discuss it," probably after Jan. 1, said David Corliss, the city's director of legal services.

In addition to Lawrence Mayor Marty Kennedy, the task force's recommendations will be forwarded to Kansas University Chancellor Robert Hemenway and Haskell Indian Nations University President Bob Martin.

"Then it will be up to them as to what actions to take," said KU University Relations director Tom Hutton.

Other recommendations:

  • Explore the possibility of beer keg registration and "disorderly house" ordinances and laws.
  • Look at the possibility of creating an alcohol treatment/ detoxification center.
  • Faster testing of alcohol for evidentiary purposes.
  • Publicize a guaranteed $500 reward, through the Crime Stoppers program, for those who report people who sell fake IDs.
  • Recommend training to identify underage drinkers and those who are intoxicated for alcohol servers working in restaurants and bars.
  • Offer more intensive programs in local schools focusing on alcohol abuse.
  • Explore increasing funding for KU's "SafeRide" program, or similar programs, which provide free rides for students from parties or other locations after they have been drinking.
  • KU and Haskell should adopt "serious sanctions" for students who violate laws or university rules pertaining to alcohol, including expulsion.
  • Continue meetings among the city and universities to keep underage drinking/alcohol abuse a top priority.

KU Provost David Shulenburger, who chaired the task force, said he hoped KU's Student Senate would take action as well.

"I would very much like for Student Senate to engage themselves in what can be done to stop the harm that's being done to their colleges by alcohol," he said.

-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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