Nursing Students to Offer Breathalyzer Screenings at Downtown Bar
March 7, 2005
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - To raise awareness about drunk driving and the amount of alcohol
it takes to reach legal limits, a group of Illinois Wesleyan University nursing students
will offer free breathalyzer screenings at Elroy's in downtown Bloomington (102 W.
Washington St.) on Thursday, March 10, from 9 p.m.-1 a.m.
Senior nursing majors Maggie Jamerson, Kellie Neven and Heather Vogeltanz are organizing
the effort, which is a continuation of a project begun last year in Normal by Illinois
State University and then conducted in the fall by IWU students. Support from the
Bloomington Police Department includes providing breathalyzer equipment.
The nursing students - while fulfilling their requirements for a service learning
project -also aim to prevent drinking and driving by increasing public awareness;
to educate people about the cost of driving under the influence; and to reduce the
number of people who drive with blood alcohol levels exceeding Illinois' legal limit
of .08 by promoting taxicab service.
The students decided on a Bloomington location this time, Jamerson said, because patrons
are more likely to walk from Normal taverns, while driving is more common to and from
downtown Bloomington. With the cooperation of Elroy's management, the bar was chosen
partly because it is popular with college students.
Neven said patrons' responses to the screenings in the past have been positive.
“A lot of people will blow, thinking they're fine, and be surprised,” she said. “People
don't realize what their blood alcohol level is.”
The students will use dials that estimate people's blood alcohol level based on body
weight, the number of drinks they've had and the amount of time they've been drinking.
Patrons will first be asked if they think they are OK to drive; they will be encouraged
to refrain from taking the breathalyzer test if they still plan to drive if they blow
above a .08.
The project was developed with the assistance of Cindy Kerber, adjunct assistant professor
of nursing, who also will be conducting related research during the screenings.
Contact: Ann Aubry, (309)556-3181