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Parisian Charm. Omelette & Champagne Breakfast. Beautiful Crepes. Afternoon Cocktails. Gallant Waiters. Delicious Quiche. Evening Romance. Continental Steaks. Mysterious Women. Famous Pastries. Cognac & Midnight Rendezvous. A t’S 46, 10111 r About? In short, it’s about everything a great European style restaurant is all about. p ec 12432151. Cafe 3. 310 East 6th St. Austin, Texas with this problem. The sooner we get started on solving the problem, the better off we are. The key is the certainty of punishment and not the severity.” Solter agreed, saying, “As director, I get lots of calls from people who were convicted once of DWI and who want to help MADD in any way they can. That tells me that we do not have to send people to jail if we have a harsh lesson hitting them in the pocketbook with a fine.” The long-term deterrent effectiveness of tough laws has not been established with any degree of certainty, and this is a factor which must be considered before sinking money and manpower into any proposal. A 1978 report by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Commission claimed that no deterrents have been proven effective, and that deaths resulting from DWI will continue to increase. A 1982 National Safety Council subcommittee report found that increasing the severity of DWI penalties is often counterproductive and that quick and sure punishments are a more effective deterrent. The NSC recommended raising the drinking age to 21, banning open containers, and suspending licenses for all DWI convictions. A typical result of a heavy local crackdown on drunk driving, according to experts, involves-shortterm reductions in accidents followed by a return to previous levels after public attention has subsided and the resources to sustain a campaign were not provided. Given this evidence, rushing into a tough, hard-nosed “solution” without knowledge of costs and benefits will probably result in a substantial waste of money and manpower. Yet, something must be resolved. Public tolerance of the drunken driver has long since evaporated; the bereaved parents and angry citizens justifiably expect action. But this crackdown will cost, and this factor cannot be ignored in a rush to get a new law any new law on the books. The city of Houston has estimated that an effective deterrent program will cost it $1.2 million annually, not counting the cost of jail space, and will require forty new officers. Sarpalius has introduced a bill that acknowledges both the costs and the most severe of the DWI problems multiple offenders. SB 3 calls for an across-theboard increase in fees and licenses to all members of the alcohol industry. Those fees would be indexed to the federal minimum wage, thus assuring future increases that have some relationship to the rate of inflation. According to Sarpalius, some of these fees haven’t been increased in thirty years. A similar source of revenue would be a surcharge on liquor, an idea suggested by Thompson but which has not been included in any bill. Both these fees and conviction fines would then be distributed to the city and to the county, eliminating the city’s financial incentive to reduce a DWI charge to public intoxication. Another portion of this revenue would be earmarked for the Texas Commission on Alcoholism, to be used for rehabilitation purposes. “I don’t think the answer to crime is to build more prisons,” said Sarpalius. “If 70% of all crimes are related to alcoholism, let’s rehabilitate alcoholics.” Safety experts estimate that only one in 40,000 dangerous drunk drivers gets convicted of DWI. The theory is that if a person actually has two or three convictions under his belt, the odds are good that he spends a lot of his driving time legally intoxicated and would benefit from some kind of treatment. Passage of an open container law is a logical first step in any deterrent effort. Solter explained, “I think that it’s ludicrous not to have a law banning drinking and driving. At the scene of so many accidents you can see the full coolers and the beer cans strewn around. It just does not make sense to crack down on drunk driving without making it illegal to drink and drive.” Thompson, who has sponsored a house bill banning open containers, added, “To have no law regulating drinking while driving is absurd, and I’m not here as a crusader against drinking or as a representative of a dry county. I’m here to represent what I consider to be a majority opinion that is scandalized about death on the highway.” These propositions, innovative both because they force the people who profit from the sale of alcohol to bear a fair share of the costs of drunk drivers and because they concentrate on causes more than on symptoms, are unfortunately the least likely to pass, according to legislators and activists. Although big liquor lobbies, like Anheuser Busch, The Texas Restaurant Association, and the Wholesale Beverage Distributors, have been noticeably silent about strengthening the penalties for DWI, some liquor lobbies have said they will oppose drinking-age and open-container legislation. Sarpalius said he felt that SB 3 would also have trouble because it would raise licensing fees. The situation in the house is equally tenuous, and some say that any bills referred to the liquor regulation committee will have a very rough time. It is generally agreed that what is needed to make the law really effective is an attitudinal change regarding both alcohol and automobiles. Included in the recommendations from the Governor’s Task Force on Traffic Safety is a suggestion to require the teaching of traffic safety courses from kindergarten through 12th grade and to require that written evaluations be given to parents after their child has taken a driver training course. The task force also calls for increased funding to driver education and driver simulator programs in the public schools. Irene Tello, a former member of MADD, agrees that education and new attitudes are the best answers to the problem. Tello, like many MADD members, lost a child to a drunk driver. “After the pain and grief was over,” she said, “I’m not so sure that putting people in jail is the answer. If we start teaching children at an early age, maybe we can start changing attitudes, teaching responsible drinking, that it’s not macho to.,drink and drive.” Tello left MADD to form Texans for Deterrence and Enforcement, Education, Rehabilitation work with legislators and civic groups to begin changing those attitudes. Thompson voiced skepticism about the benefit of going through the public education system, maintaining that such changes are the responsibility of the family. “The great rule of liberals is that we can teach all of these values through the education system. Well, we’ve had variable success with that. For some reason, this culture is not taught moderation and responsibility regarding 6 FEBRUARY-11, 1983