LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

'Alcohol 101' review

To the editor:

While we appreciate the article on the Wellness Center and Alcohol 101 ("Wellness Center provides campus with information about alcohol use, abuse," Campus, Sept. 2), there was one inaccuracy I would like to correct about college students' drinking habits.

The article states that the average college male drinks about 15 drinks per week and the average female about eight drinks per week. The actual statistics taken from a national study by the CORE Institute of Southern Illinois University show that the majority of college women (about 58 percent) report that they drink one or less drinks per week. Also, 42.5 percent of college males report one drink or less per week, and 64.7 percent report drinking only five drinks or less per week.

These statistics are much lower than most people realize. Most people assume college students drink more than they actually do. We want all UH students to know the facts because we believe that the majority rules!

Also, I would like to respond to the student who said that a computer program such as Alcohol 101 won't help because "we have to see it for ourselves, experience it." Pilots in the military, NASA and all of the airlines train on computer flight simulators all time. It gives them valuable experience and keeps them from crashing and burning.

We were all aware of the alcohol poisoning deaths of college students last year at LSU and MIT. A computer program like Alcohol 101 can prevent a tragedy such as that from happening here at UH. We want all our students to fly high and not crash and burn because they "had to see it for ourselves."

Chris Kerr

program manager, Wellness Center

A valuable lesson

To the editor:

Dec. 10, 1997, I made a decision that forever changed my life. I drove after drinking.

It was during dead week and I had gotten off early from my job. One of my good friends was home from school, so I decided to go visit him at his house in a little town not too far from here, where we're both from. When I got there, we began to drink beer while catching up and talking about old times. This set in motion a chain of events I will never forget. I had about five beers over a period of about four hours and quit drinking about 6:30 p.m. I then ate supper with my friend and his parents, watched television and talked with them. I left his house about 8:45 to come back to Houston, which I never should have done.

I was stopped for speeding on the West Loop near the Galleria at 9:30. Thus began the worst night of my life.

The officer saw that I had a cooler in the back of my truck and smelled a faint odor of beer on me. He asked me if I had been drinking, and I told him that I had. He asked how much and over what period of time, and I told him. He asked me to take a field sobriety test, which he testified in court that I passed.

The officer called a DWI task force to give me the "pen test," or HGN test, which he said I did not pass. I then went through a number of tests that were videotaped in which I, quoting the officer, "did perfect on them." After that, I got to spend the night in the Harris County Jail, which is horrible.

I took the case to trial, because I felt that the breath machine was not accurate and I was innocent. The jury, however, did not believe that, and I was found guilty - another one of the lowest moments in my life. I am writing this letter to the editor about my experience as part of my punishment.

What I would like to say to you is, no matter how few drinks you've had, don't get behind the wheel after you've been drinking. This thing cost me roughly $6,000 and great amounts of pain and mental anguish, not to mention my punishment.

I am glad about one thing: that this happened to me before I killed someone. Like most college students, I used to drive after drinking and never think twice about it. I was lucky nothing happened to me before.

One thing is for certain: I am forever changed by this and I will always have a criminal record because of it.

name withheld by request

senior, marketing

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