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Campus Cocktails, Part 2

By: Leonard Horton
By: Leonard Horton

Four Florida State University students were ejected from a white Mercedes, with one student killed. The driver was found guilty of DUI manslaughter. His blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

This accident happened in August of 2003 directly across from FSU's police department.

"It hurts us all, not just as law enforcement. It is really tragic for something like that to happen," says FSU Police LT James Russell.

The DUI checkpoint was introduced on FSU's campus just a month prior to that fatal crash.

"DUI checkpoints have both an enforcement and educational aspect to them. Obviously, when you catch DUIs, that was a potential tragedy that was averted for that night," says FSU Police MAJ Thomas Longo.

Students make the checkpoints. It’s a night out minus alcohol.

"We'll do things in the residency halls, we'll have little get togethers and meetings," says Jeff Caplan with FSU’s chapter of UMADD.

During the checkpoints, students educate each other on the dangers of driving while intoxicated.

"Once you are caught by the police you think twice before going out on the road drunk," says student Joseph Sagginario.

Every checkpoint stop is an opportunity for either police or students to distribute information on alcohol and its effects if not used responsibility, with first responders in training and also on standby.

"It's crazy to think this is a college town and people don't realize when they drink two beers, they are technically over the legal limit," says student Genevieve Dekiel, a member of FSU's first responder program.

FSU police have made more than 100 DUI arrests for the year, not necessarily a sign more people are drinking, but that more are getting caught.

"It is a hard thing to combat, and I think FSU is trying its hardest, but I don't know if it is anything we will be able to solve completely," says FSU student Adrianne Wilson.

Florida A&M University is partnering with FSU on alcohol awareness campaigns.

An officer with FAMU's police department says Rattler country is considered a dry campus, with alcohol not allowed anywhere, and statistics just released by FSU show high risk drinking in and around FSU's campus down 22 percent since 2002.


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