Minty Motorist

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Driver Does More Than Gargle and Spit; Cop Finds Her Story Hard to Swallow

The circumstances surrounding a recent fender-bender involving a Michigan motorist are certainly no laughing matter. What makes the situation noteworthy, though, is the misuse of a common household product. To put it another way, what will people think of next?

The driver, 50-year-old Carol Ries of Adrian, was accused of hitting another vehicle from behind at a red traffic light in January. A police officer responding to the scene claimed he observed signs of intoxication and administered a battery of sobriety tests.

Though Ries denied being drunk, she was determined to be under the influence of alcohol. These spirits, however, came from the medicine cabinet, not the liquor cabinet. According to published accounts of the incident, an open bottle of Listerine mouthwash–which can be as much as 26.9 percent alcohol–was found in Ries’ car.

“She said she drank three glasses of mouthwash,” says Terrance Collins, deputy chief of police in Adrian. Though Listerine is not a liquor in the traditional sense, Collins says its high alcoholic content earns it a classification as an intoxicant.

Ries was unavailable for comment, so it remains unclear why she was swigging mouthwash. We do know, however, that in February she was sentenced to two years’ probation.

Artful Dodger

Strip Club Owner Skirts Nudity Law by Passing Out Pencils to Patrons

Despite a 2001 ordinance passed by the Boise (Idaho) City Council prohibiting full nudity at adult establishments, Christopher Teague–owner of the Erotic City strip club–came up with an ingenious way to give his customers what they want, while still toeing the legal line.

The ordinance does allow full nudity as long as it can be said to have “serious artistic merit.” Examples of allowable nudity would be plays and dance recitals–and art classes. Teague says an art student once asked permission to sketch one of the club’s dancers nude. He looked into the law and decided it could legally be done. He then hit upon the idea of offering “art club” nights.

Twice a week, Teague provides 75 or so paying customers with sketch pads and pencils and allows them to view dancers in the altogether.

“There are very serious art students who attend,” Teague says. The going rate for hiring a nude art model is $25 per hour, he says. “Why would you pay $25 when you can pay $15 [at my club] for the entire night?”

City council members could not be reached for comment.

When asked whether he has encountered any resistance from police or the city council, Teague had this response: “We haven’t heard one negative word yet. I’ve gotten calls from all over the world. … We have more support than Wonderbra.”

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