August 29, 2002 11:00 pm

Planning to do some drinking and driving over the Labor Day weekend? Law enforcement across the nation is geared up to pull over and cite motorists for driving while intoxicated.

PEOPLE WHO insist on imbibing and then getting behind the wheel of their sleek sports car or rugged SUV can take a precaution to ward off an arrest, with its resulting possible night in jail, hefty fine or loss of driving privileges.

Guardian Angel Personal Alcohol Test strips are available at convenience stores, drug stores and supermarkets. The strip is placed in the mouth for 10 seconds, then held to a risk meter which ranks alcohol content in saliva as lower, higher or highest. The high mark means the blood-alcohol content is .08 or above.

People who do not want to go to all the trouble of buying four Guardian Angel test strips for $2 have a much easier option. If they've only had a drink or two and feel they are under the legal limit of .08, they can still allow a non-drinker to do the driving for them. If a designated driver is not available, then a taxi usually is not far away.

MOTHERS AGAINST Drunk Drivers and even the Guardian Angel package warn that a small amount of alcohol can impair judgment and put the driver, his passengers and other people and property at risk. It's usually best to follow the advice: "If you drink, don't drive."

The Guardian Angel test strips and other products, such as the Breath Alcohol Check by Akers Biosciences in which a person blows into a small tube for 12 seconds, do serve a valid purpose. They help a person think twice before sipping alcohol and getting behind the wheel of a car.


Big cities often have the reputation of being cold and indifferent to the real-life troubles of people.

THAT'S NOT BEEN the case this past week in the Portland area, and particularly in Oregon City, where an outpouring of support has been shown for the families of junior-highers Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis, whose bodies were found last weekend on rape-suspect Ward Weaver's property.

Hundreds of cards, notes, poems and flowers were left on a fence near the scene. Thousands of people attended a memorial service for the two girls Thursday evening in Oregon City.

Pond's and Gaddis' families surely must feel uplifted by all the signs of love and support.