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January 18, 1980 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-01-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The Miq

Groups seek to re-lower d

nuary 28 will mark the beginning of a petition
ive sponsored by the Citizens for a Fair Drinking Age
FDA) who are attempting to re-lower the drinking
e in Michigan to 19. The group needs 286,000
gnatures by July 7 in order to have a resolution
aced on the ballot for next November's elections.
State Representative Richard Fitzpatrick, CFDA
hairman, said he is confident that the resolution will
ass. According to Fitzpatrick, the raising of the
rinking age to 21 has not worked as it 'hasn't stopped
nyone from drinking." He said the polls show that
'9ple aren't drinking in bars, but in cars."
WITZPATRICK SAID he is confident that once the
3FDA explains this to the public, they will understand
vhy the drinking age should be lowered.
Steven Wachsberg, executive director of the
ssociated Students of Michigan State University
ASMSU), said he is not as sure as Fitzpatrick that the
esolution will pass. "I would say it's a toss-up because
entiments of emotionalism still exist from the 1978
lection. For the resolution to pass, it must be looked at
n a more rational manner," he said.
Wachsberg explained that the groups in 1978 who
Igo rted Proposition D, the resolution which raised
drinking age to 21, conducted an "emotional cam-
aign." The supporters emphasized the fact that the
ilcohol-related accidents had increased for 18-20 year

olds during 1972-1978. In 1971, the drinking age was
lowered from 21 to 18.
THE GROUPS convinced people to vote for
Proposition D without supplying them with all the fac-
ts, Wachsberg said.
Much of this deleted information was brough out in a
report issued by Publicom, a Lansing-based com-
munications counseling firm which studied the effects
of Proposal D in Michigan. The Publicom study com-
mittee concluded there were various factors which
might have been "possible contributors to this
statistical increase in alcohol-related traffic accidents
reported from 1972 through 1978."
One of these factors was the change in the accident
reporting practices of police. Prior to 1972, police of-
ficers were required to state on the accident report
whether the driver:
" Had been drinking (HBD);
" Had not been drinking (HN);
" Not known if drinking (NK).
AFTER 1972, the police officers were only held
responsible for making a judgement as to whether or
not the driver had been drinking.
From this information, the Publicom study commit-
tee believed that more drivers might have been repor-
ted as HBD since the police officers could only indicate
one of the two classifications on the accident report.
Because officers could no longer indicate NK, the

chigan Daily-Friday, January 18, 1980-Page 7
rinking age
committee concluded, "It is possible that this variable 0
is, in part, responsible for some of the statistical in-
crease in alcohol-related traffic accidents after the
drinking age was lowered to 18 in 1972." iQe
IN ITS REPORT, Publicom also compared the
alcohol-related accidents that occurred in the first half
of 1978 with those in the first six months of 1979. The a
committee found that.although the alcohol-related ac- 'A
cidents among drivers 18-20 years old had declined, the
alcohol-related accidents that resulted in fatalities had
increased six per cent.
According to David Lalumia of Publicom, this six
per cent increase "blows a hole in one major e
argument" of those who supported Proposition D as
they emphasized in their campaign how raising the
drinking age would save the lives of many teenagers.
In its report, the Publicom committee justified the
higher number ofalcohol-related accidents in 1978 as F
compared with 1979 with the argument that before the
-drinking age was raised, a 18-year-old would be more
likely to admit he or she was intoxicated.
The Publicom committee surveyed the directors of
:both municipal and state parks in Michigan. In their
responses, the park directors indicated that in 1979, the
majority of alcohol-related-disturbances in the parksnrt
were caused by people between the ages of 8-20. F


rw ff mw %w mw a w w Rv

*OW% - "NJ

witness describes.Pinto fire

WINAMAC, Ind. (UPI) - A 1973 Pin-
nvolvpd in what looked like a routine
fender-iender exploded "like a large
napalm bomb," killing three girls, an
eyewitness testified yesterday at the
reckless homicide trial of Ford Motor
The prosecution has charged faulty
design of the Pinto made its gas tank
susceptible to explosion and Ford
criminally liable for the deaths.
ALBERT CLARK Jr., of Osteen, Fla.,
Oid he saw a van strike the victims'
to in the rear on a highway near
Goshen, Ind., in 1978. He said the car
was moving at about 30 mph at the time
of the impact contrary to some
reports which indicated the auto was
Clark, who lived in Taylor, Mich.,
prior to retiring, said he was driving a
mini-mobile home along U.S. 33 when

he saw the Pinto and the van ap-
proaching from the opposite direction.
"At the time I saw the collision, it
(Pinto) was going from the curb lane
into the inside lane," Clark said. J
"THE VAN hit the Pinto in the left
rear. I expected it to be a fender ben-
der. About a second later the whole car
was engulfed in flames. It was - I'm an
ex-GI - like a large napalm bomb.
"I couldn't see anyone in the
vehicle," he said. "It was nothing but a
big ball of flames."
Clark said he got out and took a small
fire extinguisher across the highway,
although it was not much help in
dousing the fire.
HE SAID Judy Ulrich, 18, Osceola,
Ind. one of the three victims, was lying
outside the car with her leg trapped in a
door and pleading for help. She died
eight hours later.

Clark said he and others who stopped
at the scene tried three times before
they could open the jammed door. The
other two victims were trapped inside
the car.
Clark testified he thought the Pinto
was traveling about 30 miles per hour
and the van 40 to 45 mph at the time of
impact. However, under cross-
examination by Ford attorneys, he said
he could not be positive of the speeds.

FORD, THE first corporation
brought to trial on criminal charges in
Indiana, was expected to contend the
car was stopped or moving slowly prior
to the collision, which would make the
impact greater.
The prosecution has said it will prove
Ford executives permitted Pintos to be
sold while knowing the gasoline tank
was susceptible-to rupture during rear-
end collisions.

1140 South University




LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP)-A grant of
$100,000 has been made by the Andrew
W. Mellon Foundation to the Actors
Theatre of Louisville, according to
producing-director Jon Jory.

The grant is to help produce "earlier
work that has survived to become an
important part of the theatrical
literature or that, though not well know,
merits revival."

Five plead 'no contest'
in cat killing case


(Continued from P'ge 1)
Johnson could not be 'reached for
comment last night.
Laidlaw said, "There was a lot of
pressure from all sorts of sources: the
public, their parents. . ." Laidlaw,
referring to the overwhelming public

condemnation of the fraternity house
and repeated demands for prosecution,
said "being excluded from the frater-
nity house wasn't good enough for them
(the public.)"
The five students face sentencing
Feb. 22.

Labor experts, students
to meet at 'U' conference

(Continued from Page 1)
discussions, taking place tonight,,
tomorrow morning, and tomorrow af-
ernoon. Speakers on the panel
,Wscussions will include Michael
Harrington, of the Democratic Socialist
Organizing Committee, U.S. Rep. John
Conyers (D-Detroit), and nine other
The subjects of the panel discussion
will cover differing aspects of inflation,
unemployment, plant closings, and the
general quality of work and life,
*p eake rs
decry Iran
in forum
(Continued from Page 1)
in common. We both share many goals
and aspirations." Fusfeld emphasized
the need for both sides to consider how
all partiescan help the situation.
All three speakers had suggestions on
how to help solve the problems of Iran
and Iranian students. According to
Sedler, there are two levels of
harassment of Iranian students:
vernment (legal) harassment and in-
stices done by the public. "What
needs to be done (about harassment by
American citizens) is to remind people
of the values we hold dear. . . Regar-
ding the deportation of Iranian studen-
ts, people should express their political
dissatisfaction by writing letters to
their congressman," he said.

Leighton said. Some of the workshops
will be on topics such as pension rights
and job security, corporate policy and
the public interest, inflation and unem-
ployment, plant shutdowns, working
women, alliances for change, and union
Talking about what prompted the
conference, Leighton said, "By and
large there is a real misconception
about what that (the labor movement)
means on this campus. It's not all the
brass-knuckled, cigar-smoking that
people think of when they hear 'union.'
Union leaders have progressive goals
at heart in improving the quality of life
in promoting public policy and the
public interest. What this conference is
going to do is expose students to what
the labor movement is all about."

Virgin Recording Artists
Tues., Jan., 22 Michigan Theatre Ann Arbor

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