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August 02, 1978 - Image 5

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1978-08-02

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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, August 2, 1978-Page 5

GROUP CLAIMS SUPPORT IS STRONG:

Backers confident of drinking age hike

(Continued from PageeOne)
He predicted that only ten per cent of
the 18-20-year-old voters in Michigan
will turn out to the polls in November,
and half of them will vote in favor of the
proposal.
A FLURRY OF bills to raise the
drinking age to 20 or 21 have been in-
troduced in the state legislature in past
years, and the body passed a bill last
March to raise the drinking age from 18
to 19. Effective December 3, the new
law affects only those who will turn 18
after that date.
But the ballot proposal - which
would overrule the legislative measure
- contains no such "grandfather
clause." The proposal would go into ef-
fect 10 days after the election and affect
all individuals under 21, regardless of
their birthdate.
Bailey rejects the new law, calling it
a "complete waste of time, a worthless
piece of legislation, a facade for
legislators to show their constituency
Costanza
resigns
WASHINGTON (AP( - Margaret
"Midge" Costanza, already stripped of
most of her duties as an outspoken
assistant to President Carter, has
resigned her $56,000-a-year job as White
House aide for women's issues, it was
announced yesterday.
White House spokesman Rex Gran-
um said Carter accepted Costanza's
resignation on Monday "with regret,"
and asked her to remain for 30 days un-
til a successor could be found.
IN QUITTING, the often controver-
sial Costanza said it had become clear
to her that she and the President had
too many differences in approach and
style, although she said she parted with
warm feelings for Carter.
Costanza was vacationing in Florida.
Her office said she had left no telephone
number.
Carter recently announced that
Costanza would "focus her efforts on
women's duties." He made the
statement in directing heads of federal
departments and agencies to include a
plug for ratification of the Equal Rights
Amendment in their public speeches.
Actually, Costanza's duties were
narrowed to women's issues last May
when she was moved from a large of-
fice near that of the President in the
White House west wing to much smaller
quarters in the White House basement.
In 1977, Americans were the most
numerous of any tourists to visit
Greece. A total of 598,470 Americans
visited the country last year.
The game that
won't go
away
Billiards
at the
Union

they're doing something."
BACKERS OF the proposal argue
that car accidents involving drunk
drivers in the 18-20-year-old age
bracket have increased since the
drinking age was lowered from 21 to 18
in 1972.
"We're ready to address anyone
anywhere on statistics," said Bailey.
"Figures don't lie but liars can
figure," said Eddy Shepherd, coor-
dinator of activities for the Michigan
Licensed Beverage Association, which
opposes a hike in the drinking age.
SHEPHERD SAID "(backers of the
proposal) never kept track of those
things (statistics)" before the drinking
age was lowered. He also said a
growing young adult population has in-
flated accident statistics. Studies made
of isolated areas in Michigan have
produced accident statistics which are
applied state-wide, he charged.
"We're against it (the proposal),"
said Shepherd, "because the people
who are promoting it are drys and are
irresponsible."
A study conducted by Richard
Douglass and Jay Freedman of the
Systems Analysis Division of the
University's Highway Safety Research
Institute (HSRI) recommended that the
state consider hiking the drinking age,
but added that rights accorded to those
currently between 18 and 20 should not
be retracted.
THE STUDY covered male drivers 18
to 20 years old in various Michigan
communities, including Washtenaw
LEAVE BLANK
ONES
SCHEDULI
$12
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(Please Print)
I.D. No.
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County.
"It is suggested that the legal
drinking age be raised. If it were
raised, a decline in the frequency of
alcohol-related crash involvements
among male drivers 18-to-20 years old
could be expected," the report stated.
The report also examined the
availability of alcoholic beverages, and
found that, too, has gone up.
ANOTHER study, conducted by Lyle
Filkins of HSRI and Jairus Flora of the
School of Public Health, confirmed that
accidents involving drivers under 21
who had been drinking have increased
since 1972.
Bailey, Finlan, and Utica Community
Schools PTA President Nancy Ricketts
claimed the proposal would curtail the
"trickle down effect" - young legal
drinkers providing high school, junior
high school, and even elementary
students with booze.
"Our concern is with the 18-year-old
who gives it to 14- and 15-year-olds,"
Ricketts said. "We don't think 14- and
15-year-olds should have to face this
burden. We hope by raising the age to 21
we'll get it out of the high schools
during the day." The Utica school
district was one of the first groups in
Macomb County to support the
proposal.
"THE EFFECTIVE Michigan
drinking age is 16. That's too young,"
said Finlan. "California enforces 21.
We don't enforce 18. I'm working to try
to get a handle on it for the 13-, 14- and
15-year-olds."
D 0IT BY
MAIL

Both opponents and proponents of the
amendment say Secretary of State
Richard Austin opposes the measure,
but he denies having taken a position
yet.
"I haven't taken a position," said
Austin. "I assure you I'll be taking a
position on it."
LADISLAUS Dombrowski, ad-
ministrative secretary to, the State
Board of Education, said at one time
the board voted to oppose any
legislation raising the drinking age, but
has not taken a stance on the ballot
proposal.
The Michigan Licensed Beverage
Association said the state board op-
poses any hike in the drinking age.
Bailey put little stock in some
proposal-opponents' reasoning that if a
- person is old enough to go to war for his
country, he is old enough to drink
alcohol.
"DRINKING IS a privilege, as well
as many other adult privileges. We find
'no correlation between carrying a gun
'and drinking alcoholic beverages. I
don't think those kinds of arguments'
are valid." He added that such
arguments may have held true in the
+past when the draft was in effect.
Bailey said there is a trend among
state legislatures to raise drinking
ages. He said not one state has lowered
its drinking age since 1973, while seven
have raised the age. Twenty-four states
now have a 21-year-old drinking age,
while 17 stites have cut off booze to
those under 18.

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