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Copyright 2000 The Seattle Times Company
Local News : Saturday, June 17, 2000

Alcohol-abstinence critic accused
of DUI in fatal I-90 crash
by Dave Birkland and Anne Koch
Seattle Times staff reporters


The founder of a national movement that says problem
drinkers can drink in moderation is accused of being
drunk when the pickup she was driving the wrong way
on Interstate 90 near Cle Elum crashed head-on into a
second vehicle, killing a man and his 12-year-old
daughter.

Audrey Kishline, 43, of Woodinville has been charged
by the Kittitas County Prosecutor's office with two
counts of vehicular homicide in the March 25 crash that
killed a Grandview, Yakima County, man, Richard
Davis, and his daughter, LaSchell.

Kishline, author of the book "Moderate Drinking," had
a blood alcohol content of 0.26, more than three times
the legal limit in Washington.

According to literature from Moderation Management,
two of the group's tenets are "never drive while under
the influence of alcohol" and "do not drink in a situation
that would endanger yourself or others."

The accident and the subsequent intensive alcohol
treatment she has undergone have made Kishline
realize that "moderation management is nothing but
alcoholics covering up their problem," her Seattle
lawyer, John Crowley, said yesterday.

Crowley said his client is "extremely remorseful" and
carries the photos of the two victims with her. Kishline
is receiving substance-abuse treatment at a facility in
Western Oregon.

Crowley declined to say where his client was receiving
treatment.

Kishline is accused of driving "while under the
influence of intoxicating liquor," according to Kittitas
County Deputy Prosecutor Margaret Sowards.

Davis, 38, an electrician who worked in Bellevue, was
killed outright in the 6 p.m. crash. His daughter died a
short time later at the crash scene 16 miles west of Cle
Elum, according to the State Patrol.

Kishline also was charged with hit-and-run driving,
accused of forcing another vehicle off the interstate
before the fatal crash, Sowards said.

Kishline, who was driving west in the eastbound lanes,
suffered facial and chest injuries and was flown to
Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where she was
hospitalized for five days, according to hospital records.

Kishline's trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday in
Kittitas County Superior Court, but yesterday Crowley
requested and was granted a continuance until late
September, Sowards said.

At Kishline's arraignment after her release from the
hospital, prosecutors requested $100,000 bail. It was
reduced to $50,000 on the condition she immediately
enter an alcohol-treatment program in Oregon, Sowards
said.

Crowley said Kishline had checked herself into the
treatment facility before her April 19 arraignment. She
will continue to receive treatment there until July 8, he
said.

The program offers intensive in-patient treatment and
includes individual and group therapy, he said.

Sheryl Maloy-Davis of Grandview, LaSchell's mother
and Davis' ex-wife, said her daughter was killed 10 days
after her 12th birthday.

She said she hasn't had the heart to finish cleaning
LaSchell's bedroom, which has remnants of the birthday
party.

"Every time I go in there, I cry. She's not there
anymore, and she never will be," Maloy-Davis said.

Richard Davis, or Danny as he was known, and
LaSchell were returning to Grandview from Bellevue
when the crash occurred, she said.

"I think this should open everyone's eyes about drunk
driving. They should take it very, very seriously,"
Maloy-Davis said. "Danny and LaSchell had a lot to live
for that they will never get to do now."

Crowley said Kishline plans to write more on the
subject of drinking if she goes to prison - but this time
the writing will deal with how moderation is not an
option for people with serious drinking problems.

"She doesn't feel sorry for herself," Crowley added,
saying her thoughts instead are with the two victims and
her own two children.

Kishline's book, subtitled "The Moderation Management
Guide for People Who Want to Reduce Their
Drinking," is not for alcoholics but for problem drinkers
who have experienced mild to moderate alcohol-related
problems, according to a Web site associated with the
book.

The book, published in 1994 by Three Rivers Press,
says it is the official handbook of the nonprofit, national
self-help program, Moderation Management, which
"supports moderate drinking as a reasonable and
attainable recovery goal for problem drinkers,"
according to an advertisement for the book.

It continues: "Based on her own unsatisfactory
experience with abstinence-based programs, Kishline
offers inspiration and a step-by-step program to help
individuals avoid the kind of drinking that detrimentally
affects their lives."

Moderation Management, also called MM, says it
essentially offers a supportive atmosphere and a
nine-step program that include drinking guidelines and
limits and free literature.

One of the first steps in the program is abstinence from
alcohol for 30 days, then moderate drinking and
attending the supportive meetings.

The book's guidelines say men should not have more
than four drinks per day, and women not more than
three a day. A drink is defined as a 12-ounce beer, a
5-ounce glass of wine or 1 1/2 ounces of 80-proof
liquor.

Moderation Management support groups have been
established in 14 states, including Washington, and in
Ontario, Canada.

Kishline's accident has done nothing to erode support
for the program, said one devotee.

"It doesn't discount anything that's in the book," said
Jennifer Newman of New Jersey. "I have been in the
program for over two years and my entire life has
improved beyond belief."

"The feeling of the group is that moderation
management is working. We all want Audrey to recover
and we wish her the best."

The group made headlines two years ago when a
29-year-old computer programmer confessed on an
Internet chat room associated with the group that he had
killed his 5-year-old daughter three years earlier in a
custody battle with his ex-wife. The man later pleaded
guilty in the child's death.

Anne Koch's phone message number is 206-464-3303.

Dave Birkland's phone message number is
206-515-5682.