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STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot Archive 1995


THE KEEPER OF the shooters is standing guard at a small makeshift bar just inside the door of the Bayou, the popular Virginia Beach club, when you stroll in one Saturday night.

You peruse her offerings. There’s tequila. The familiar Jack Daniels. Beer. And a bottle labeled “Goldschlager,” wrapped around a transparent fluid sparkling with tiny flecks of real gold.

“Try it,” she chirps. “It’s my favorite.” Why not?

Going down, the liquid delivers a blast of cinnamon. Then a sharp slash tears through your nasal passages. Your brain has only a moment to note this before its attention shifts to the blaze that has erupted in your throat. Congratulations. You’ve just joined a growing army of locals who, along with their beer and highballs, make room for “shooters” – syrupy, often brightly hued concoctions of alcohol and sugar.

They seem as much candy as liquor. They’re especially popular with women. They’re big business at many Hampton Roads nightspots.

That’ll be $3.75.

With drinking a major American pastime, it’s easy to see the appeal of tossing back an ounce or two of high-test with a fruity or minty taste. Call it convenience booze.

These candylike chuggers aren’t so harsh as shots of straight alcohol, but their kick is much the same. Usually concocted of fruit juice and two, three or four liquors – often varieties of schnapps – shooters are smoother than the rough medicine favored by cowboys, bikers and Keith Richards.

If you’re a shooter drinker, you’re probably a younger person; these are not Mom’s cocktails.

And if you’re having a shooter, you’re probably sharing the experience. Despite the popularity of cocktail and cordial products, including schnapps, state Alcoholic Beverage Control statistics show retail sales have remained steady over the past five years.

That means that not many twentysomethings are imbibing one shooter after another in the privacy of their homes. It’s a club thing, a night-on-the-town thing, a bonding experience sealed with a belt.

“You never sell just one shooter, ever,” says David, a bartender at Private Eyes in Norfolk. “When you’re having a good time and you wanna have a better time, shooters are always fun.”

Across the room, a tableful of men and women takes on a tray of Buttery Nipples – butterscotch schnapps mixed with Bailey’s. This is a thrice-weekly habit, though the number they order varies.

“Depends on what kind of night we’re having,” says one.

“One night we had 88,” another jokes.

Jim Beam’s Cincinnati-based DeKuyper arm trumpets about 50 cordials, including more than a dozen flavors of schnapps. Its Peachtree schnapps is the country’s best-selling domestic cordial. One of its latest triumphs is After Shock, a liqueur that melds cinnamon and mint.

Although there are one or two such biggies each year, one Bayou bartender says that about 30 shooters are regularly in circulation. The current favorite is the Volleyball: Wilderberry and BluesBerry schnapps, blue caracao, vodka and pineapple juice. The Wild Thing, which continues the tradition of innuendo-laden shooter tags like Buttery Nipple and Sex on the Beach, is also big this summer.

Some staples are enduring. Watermelon shooters. Orange Crush. Woo Woo, composed of vodka, cranberry juice and peach schnapps.

The Bayou runs regular shooter specials. Two bucks for a Blue Bayou or a shot of Jagermeister, a macho favorite that looks like blackstrap molasses and smells volatile enough to burn through the bottom of the cup.

“Why do people drink it?” wonders Jennifer, who’s having a beer at the bar. “It tastes like NyQuil.” Her theory: “It’s got a cool name and it gets you (messed) up.”

Bayou patrons sometimes underestimate a shooter’s muscle. “People think they can drink these all night,” the bartender says, “and they can’t.”

Mike Goodove, chairman of Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s Southside Community Action Team, says the promotion of sweet drinks is “still being studied” by his organization.

“It is something you’re gonna look at – how the restaurants and bars are marketing things.”

DeKuyper’s publicity handouts are careful to paint its fruits as adult. One photo depicts a ready-to-swig couple old enough to be the parents of a Bayou regular.

Dr. Roy Williams, an ODU chemistry professor and head of its enological, or wine-studies lab, calls shooters “just a way of getting people involved in alcohol. It’s a terrible way to introduce people to alcoholic beverages.”

He notes that even after one shooter, “your enzymes are saying, `Forget it, I’m not doing anything else.’ ”

That said, the country’s fitness mania may be part of shooters’ appeal. “Creamy drinks went out about two years ago,” one bartender says. “Girls, you know, they’re so health-conscious. It sounds silly – they’re drinking – but they’re into watching their weight. And there are a lot of calories in those things.”

Jell-O shooters, which also represent the gigglingly sexual side of the trend, enjoyed a brief popularity. With the prep time required, many bars don’t bother anymore.

But where old shooters have fallen, new ones have risen to take their place. “For tomorrow,” a distillery handout vows, “DeKuyper is already hard at work creating a future of great new cordial products for you.”

Think of the flavors that might exist by the time the Bayou kids’ kids are ready to partake. Perhaps right now, in a Midwestern lab, some visionary is charting the territory on which a million 21st century collegians will dance, will laugh, will love.

How long before we face Nacho Cheese Schnapps?

Color photo by Beth Bergman, Staff
Shooters, concocted of fruit juice and a variety of liquors, are big
business at many Hampton Roads nightspots.

Copyright (c) 1995 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 9508180070

Archive 1995 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot


Shame on you for giving print to the ramblings of Arnold Peterson, driver of the chased van that killed two people on Brambleton Avenue the night of Jan. 21.

I’m horrified and sickened by his message that society is being “too harsh,” “funny and ambivalent about alcohol,” “out to give him the maximum sentence” and it was the “fault” of the Virginia Beach police that he ran!

How absurd! How disgusting! How irresponsible! How twisted!


Virginia Beach, March 9, 1995

Regarding “Driver breaks silence on fatal car chase in downtown Norfolk” (news, March 8): Arnold O. Peterson say, “Our society is so funny about this (alcohol). It is legal to buy, it is legal to use. But it is not legal to get behind the wheel with.”

Gee, Mr. Peterson – I wonder why?

Mr. Peterson made the choice to continue drinking and the subsequent choice to drive under the influence and not stop for authorities. Law-abiding citizens must begin demanding that criminals be held accountable for their actions. Mr. Peterson does not get the sympathy vote from me.


Norfolk, March 9, 1995

Two people were taken from this world on Jan. 21 by the reckless actions of Arnold O. Peterson as he fled police while intoxicated. After two previous DUI convictions, two other charges of DUI, a reckless-driving conviction, an improper-driving conviction and finally the deaths of two innocent people, Mr. Peterson now has the audacity to “admit that he did wrong” while remarking that the news media are being unfair to him and he believes “that anti-drunken-driving groups are being harsher than they should.”

In Mr. Peterson’s case, the only things that are not harsh enough are the criminal laws and maximum sentences which he is facing. The fact that Mr. Peterson still considers himself a “good driver” is enough reason to keep him off the roads forever.


Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Southside Community Action Team

Norfolk, March 8, 1995

Copyright (c) 1995 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 9503140005

STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot Archive 1995


The Virginia Beach man charged with killing two people when his van collided with their car after running a red light in downtown Norfolk has a record of drunken-driving charges that dates to 1976.

Arnold O. Peterson was stopped 19 years ago on his first DUI charge at the Brambleton Avenue exit on Interstate 264. He took the same exit Saturday night during a 15-mile chase by police that ended with the collision that killed a Richmond lawyer and a Virginia Beach woman.

Mike Goodove, chairman of the Southside chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, called Peterson’s history of DUIs “shocking and appalling.”

“He is looking at 40 years if he is charged with aggravated manslaughter, and he is a man who deserves to be incarcerated,” Goodove said.

Killed were William L. Rosbe, a 50-year-old attorney who survived more than 200 missions in Vietnam as a Marine pilot, and 40-year-old Terrie G. Timms of the 1500 block of Southwick Road in Virginia Beach.

Peterson, 47, appeared Monday morning in Norfolk General District Court. Prosecutors said they would pursue two charges of involuntary manslaughter. They decided not to immediately prosecute drunk-driving charges for fear of double-jeopardy. The arraignment was continued until Feb. 8.

Additional charges are pending against Peterson in Virginia Beach, including reckless driving and a felony charge of eluding police,said Virginia Beach Police Department spokesman Mike Carey.

Meanwhile, authorities from three law-enforcement agencies involved in the chase defended their policies that govern high-speed pursuits, claiming that no violations by participating officers were committed Saturday night.

“I’ve gone over the policy any number of times in the past and again today,” said Lt. Col. Basil Belsches, deputy superintendent of the Virginia State Police. “And I can’t see where we went wrong.”

Belsches said the review of the incident will include a look at all relevant policies.

Carey and Norfolk Police Department spokesman Larry Hill said their agencies also are conducting reviews that will include pursuit policies, but both said their officers acted properly.

Carey said the chase was started by Virginia Beach officers, who picked up Peterson’s van on radar as it was speeding on International Parkway about 11:15 p.m.

“The vehicle was considered to be driving recklessly,” Carey said. “It was not a bald tire or a headlight out.”

Hill said Norfolk officers joined in when the car entered their city.

“Here is a man who had DUI convictions,” said Hill. “If you let him go, this drunk driver could go on down the road and kill someone else. It is a no-win situation.”

Officers in both cities performed secondary roles once state troopers took control of the chase near the Newtown Road exit of the Virginia Beach-Norfolk Expressway at the request of Virginia Beach police, Belsches said.

A state police car, which carried a camera that videotaped the chase, picked up the pursuit and followed Peterson on the expressway at speeds reaching 80 mph onto Interstate 264, where another state police cruiser joined in, Belsches said.

Both cruisers followed Peterson’s van when it exited I-264 at Brambleton Avenue. The state police cars remained about a block behind Peterson, Belsches said, as he raced along Brambleton, running red lights at speeds that reached 50 mph. Peterson then maneuvered his van onto the oncoming traffic lane on Brambleton Avenue. The street is divided by a concrete median.

Police first reported incorrectly Saturday that Rosbe and Timms apparently were leaving the opera in Rosbe’s 1983 BMW when the accident occurred. There was no opera Saturday night, but there was a Crystal Gayle concert at Chrysler Hall.

Hill said Rosbe’s car flipped several times because Peterson’s van hit the car broadside and pushed it against a curb. The curb, Hill said, acted “just like someone sticking their foot out and tripping you.”

Police said Peterson, of the 2100 block of Beckman Cove, was not seriously injured.

The van was owned by Nansemond Heating and Cooling. Peterson was not authorized to drive the vehicle, said the company’s owner, Grant Huneycutt.

During the chase, a representative of the company was called by police, who saw the company’s telephone number on the side of the van. The company representative said that the van was not supposed to be on the street.

“Arnie was not authorized to drive a company vehicle,” said Huneycutt. “He obtained this vehicle improperly.”

Before Norfolk police got involved, the troopers and Virginia Beach officers vigorously pursued the van in part because they mistakenly believed it might have been a vehicle stolen by youths involved in a Portsmouth-area robbery spree Saturday night.

Belsches said troopers involved in the chase also were acting under the impression that the van may have been stolen by the robbery suspects.

Portsmouth police arrested two teenagers on Sunday who are suspected in the string of robberies on Saturday in Portsmouth. Another teen was being sought Monday.

Peterson, who is being held in the Norfolk City Jail, was out on a $7,500 bond at the time of the accident for a DUI charge in Virginia Beach.

Carey said Virginia Beach police officers encountered Peterson at the intersection of Old Donation Parkway and First Colonial Road at 3:53 a.m. on Dec. 3. He also was charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and an unrelated domestic assault charge. He was to appear in court on the charges Feb. 27.

Peterson’s first DUI charge in Hampton Roads appears to have been in September of 1976 when he was stopped on Interstate 264 by the Virginia State Police.

He was stopped again less than a year later by Norfolk police on Llewellyn Avenue and charged with DUI. Both charges were levied before court records were computerized, and it was unclear if Peterson was found guilty.

However, records do show that in February of 1992 Peterson was convicted of DUI in Virginia Beach.

Peterson also has a reckless driving conviction in Chesapeake in 1991 and an improper driving conviction in Virginia Beach in 1994, court records show.

Both victims of Saturday’s accident were recently widowed. The survivors of Terrie Timms include three children. She also had three stepchildren whose natural mother is still alive.

Color photo
Arnold O. Peterson was stopped 19 years ago on his first DUI

Copyright (c) 1995 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 9501240281