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‘How Much is Too Much?’ educates on alcohol consumption

By Staff | Nov 17, 2009

The Cape Coral Police Department and Community Redevelopment Agency teamed up Monday afternoon for an alcohol awareness event titled “How Much is Too Much?”
Fifteen pre-screened individuals arrived at Rack’em Billiards on Southeast 47th Terrace to consume alcohol for three hours and go though a series of field sobriety tests administered by Cape police.
“Our purpose for hosting this event is to provide some education about the impact of alcohol on different individuals,” said Officer Jerry Moll. “This is part of our continuing efforts to work with downtown establishments to keep our citizens safe and prevent impaired individuals from getting behind the wheel.”
Before any of the participants could drink, Officer Health Causer asked each their weight, how often they drink, checked their identification and gave them a preliminary breath test.
Participants also had to agree not leave the building during the event and had to have a designated driver take them home.
The bartender offered a choice of 80-proof vodka or rum, and the amount each person drank depended on a calculation.
Cape resident Ryan Timms said he was scheduled to drink 9 ounces in three hours, or the equivalent of nine shot glasses, because of his body weight.
His female companion was expected to have 7 ounces in the same time period.
“It’s free alcohol,” he said, “and we wanted to do something for the community.”
Jason Pescatore, 22, arrived at Rack’em Billiards at 11:45 a.m., 15 minutes before the event officially kicked off.
“I couldn’t turn it down, it is a good thing to take part in,” he said.
Pescatore said he signed a document from the police department stating that he would not leave the bar until 4 p.m. and that he had a ride home.
There were also participants who were labeled as non-drinkers.
They could take a ride in the department’s SIDNE, or Simulated Impaired Driving Experience, which is a battery-operated vehicle that simulates what it is like to drive under the influence of alcohol.
A portion of the parking lot at Club Square was roped off Monday afternoon and cones were set up for the SIDNE.
Moll said Cape police are trained in how to identify whether a person is under the influence of alcohol, and the event was designed more for the community to understand their own boundaries.
“We go through that training. It is to bring awareness to how much is too much,” he said. “It is a controlled environment, everything is documented as far as how many drinks the test person is having.”