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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


PACE examines effects of drink special ban

PACE Around Campus

By Megan Costello

News Reporter


After conducting a voluntary drink special ban of 19 local taverns, the Policy Alternatives Community and Education project is in the midst of interpreting collected data.

The PACE Project works to reduce the consequences of high-risk drinking on the University of Wisconsin campus as well as other campuses around the nation.

PACE conducted a drink special ban on Friday, Sept. 2 and Saturday Sept. 3 after 8:00 p.m. in 19 of Madison’s 52 local taverns. Local businesses affected in the past have included restaurants such as the Nitty Gritty and State Street Brats, among others.

During the ban, PACE monitored liquor law violations, disorderly conduct and vandalism in the areas where the drink special ban was enacted. The project’s aim was to determine if drink special bans reduced violations if enacted after a certain time of day.

In order to get the best results, PACE had to construct a well-designed model to test how drink specials affect the student population, said PACE Project Coordinator Sudi Ceglarek.

“There is research done nationally that says there is a correlation between price and consumption,” Ceglarek said.

However, the preliminary data from the project done in September came back with mixed results.

“We’re still in the process of reviewing the data,” said PACE Project Director Susan Crowley.

Associate Dean of Students Lori Berquam agreed.

“It’s a little bit early to make any judgments … We want to look at how the results affect high-risk behavior,” Berquam said.

Berquam said they are looking to develop from the results possible long-term strategy to reduce the high risks associated with drink specials and binge drinking on campus.

“At this point we’re trying to analyze the data to give us some clarity, but we’re still in the process,” Crowley added.

Crowley said she feels that since less than one third of the local taverns participated in the drink special ban that the final data will not clearly reflect how substantial the ban could be.

“[The data] is inconclusive because we didn’t have everyone participating,” she said.

Crowley also feels that there was a small reduction in the amount of liquor law violations during the ban. This type of reduction in liquor law violations is what the PACE Project is hoping to find so that can formulate a recommendation once the data has been accurately analyzed.

The Nitty Gritty was one of the liquor vendors that decided to participate in the drink special ban.

Owner Marsh Shapiro said that during the ban he “did not see any change, in business or in drinking.”

While Shapiro feels excessive drinking is a problem with a significant need for resolution, he feels that the credibility of PACE’s work is in doubt because the project is looking for results that will conclude binge drinking is directly correlated with drink specials.

All finalized data from the drink special ban will be completed during the UW winter break and released by the PACE project at the beginning of the spring semester in January.

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