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Cape police, local businesses to push alcohol awareness

By Staff | Nov 13, 2009

How much is too much?
Unfortunately, it is a question that is often asked too late, and people enjoying a night out on the town could find themselves in a darker and more dangerous situation.
The Cape Coral Community Redevelopment Agency, the Cape Coral Police Department and businesses in the CRA district are joining forces to answer that question, but in a controlled and educational atmosphere.
They will host How Much is Too Much?, an event aimed at raising awareness of alcohol consumption, from noon-4 p.m. Monday at Rack Em’ Billiards, located at 1011 S.E. 47th Terrace.
“This is important because you have groups working together to educate and achieve everyone’s goals,” said CCPD Officer Jerry Moll. “We’re going to educate the public as far as safety, and what you can do to find your limit.”
The relationship between bars and restaurants in the CRA district and the Cape police department has been strained as of late.
Traffic enforcement and DUI check points have drawn the ire of owners like Mary Ann Evans of Leapin’ Lizard.
Evans has complained of DUI check points being set up in front of her business, but she said that Monday’s event is a step toward finding a partnership between police and business owners.
“I believe they’re (the CCPD) finally getting to be a little more sensitive to the fact that other communities aren’t letting their business districts be disrupted,” Evans said. “I believe we have some awareness and a move more toward community policing than we’ve had in the past.”
Cape police with the DUI Awareness Program will supervise and monitor the alcohol consumption of 15 individuals who have been prescreened.
For about three hours, the participants will consume alcoholic beverages, then will be put through a series of field sobriety tests to demonstrate the effect of the alcohol on their motor coordination, comprehension and awareness.
Non-drinkers will also be needed to operate SIDNE, or Simulated Impaired Driving Experience, a battery-operated vehicle designed to simulate the delayed reactions associated with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Volunteers are needed for both sets of tests.
CRA Public Relations Manager Helen Ramey said the event is important to the community, not only for educational purposes, but to bring together the various groups working toward the same goal: fostering a successful business district while keeping roadways safe.
“This is going to be a good partnership,” she said. “It’s a positive thing and I’m really looking forward to bringing this to fruition.”
For more information on How Much is Too Much?, call the CRA office at 549-5615.
A liability release and photo identification are needed to participate in the alcohol consumption portion of the event.