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COSAP: No DUI checkpoint list

A campuswide e-mail sent out Aug. 27 gave some students the impression that the Campus Office of Substance Abuse Prevention would be disclosing the locations of DUI checkpoints.

“As a service to everyone, COSAP will be sending you notices of upcoming checkpoints throughout the year,” the e-mail stated.

Jill Anne Yeagley, COSAP program manager, said the message was misinterpreted.

“The e-mail in question wasn’t a lot different from e-mails we have previously sent to students, so I was surprised that it would be interpreted to mean we were going to provide checkpoint locations,” Yeagley said in a follow-up e-mail the next day.

Student Jonathan Bartlett said when he read the first e-mail he thought COSAP would release checkpoint locations.

“I actually thought that the initial (e-mail) was basically stating that they were going to tell us where to avoid, and I think that their retraction was probably a realization that it was a mistake of what they said in the first place,” he said. “I don’t think they should have sent it out in the first place.”

Student Nathan Nelson said he didn’t expect COSAP to release checkpoint locations.
“Well, they are warning them that they are out there,” he said. “Everyone knows that they are going to be out there.”

Yeagley said she got e-mails from students saying they were angry that COSAP would
release checkpoint locations.

“COSAP wants to make it totally clear that we will never provide anyone with information regarding the location of a DUI Checkpoint,” she said in the second e-mail. “Our purpose for advising you of this weekend’s checkpoint and any future ones is not to help you ‘beat them,’ but rather to give you one more reason to avoid drinking and driving.”

Yeagley said that instead of drinking and driving, students should pick a sober driver to take their friends to and from bars. They can also pitch in money for a cab ride.

“Other options include the city and county Safe Ride, which is a free cab ride home from any establishment as long as both are in Bernalillo County,” she said. “In the summer, the Rapid Ride After Dark operates until 3 a.m.”

Yeagley said alcohol-related crashes are the leading cause of death among college students in the U.S.

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The New Mexico Department of Transportation reported in 2006 that 67 percent of motor-vehicle fatalities in the state involving young adults were alcohol-related.

Yeagley said even when there isn’t a crash involved, a DUI conviction can change a person’s life.

“First, there is the financial burden (approximately $2,000), lost time and embarrassment at having an ignition interlock,” she said. “Some individuals will lose their jobs or opportunities for promotions as a result of a conviction.”

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