gkanai.weblogs.com

The AP is carrying an article on underage drinking, which is staggering when you stop to think about it.

Nearly a third of high school students say they binge drink at least once a month, according to a report that says underage drinkers now account for 25 percent of the alcohol consumed in this country.
–Eighty-seven percent of adults who drink had their first drink before age 21.
–The gender gap for drinking is disappearing. Female ninth-graders were just as likely to be drinkers as male ninth-graders.
–Eighty-one percent of high school students have consumed alcohol, compared with 70 percent who have smoked cigarettes and 47 percent who have used marijuana.
–Most teens who experiment with alcohol continue using it. Among high school seniors who had tried alcohol, 91.3 percent still were drinking in the 12th grade.
–The percentage of teens who drink on binges — 31 percent among high school students

When I was in high school 15 years ago, this was the pattern among my friends. I, luckily, ended up with an allergy to alcohol, so I didn’t consume as my friends did, but nothing in this survey surprises me, sadly. Of course my friends and I grew up in New York City and in that environment I think we were exposed to drugs & alcohol at an earlier age than most.
Here again I wonder about the commercial interests of the alcohol manufacturers. If 25% of the market for alcohol is consumed illegally, and that 25% went away through enforcement or whatever, all of those businesses would suffer significant losses. Are we, as a capitalistic society willing to let Anheiser Busch lose 25% of it’s market share and 25% of it’s market value in order to ensure that our children don’t become alcoholics or kill each other and others in drunk driving accidents?
Is this the price we pay for a capitalistic democracy?
This is cool though…
The report includes a landmark survey of 900 adults which reveals that Americans overwhelmingly support cracking down on underage drinking:

    76 percent believe parents should be held legally responsible for teen drinking.
    86 percent call for restrictions on home delivery of alcohol.
    74 percent support restrictions on alcohol advertising.
    54 percent support increasing taxes on alcohol.

One comment on “gkanai.weblogs.com
  1. bruce alm says:

    DWI, drunk driving, DUI, and a license to drink.
    madd, sadd, radd, A.A., and Alanon related.
    Copyright: 1993-2003 © Bruce Alm
    The answer to the problem of drunk driving, etc. could be this; a permit for the purchase and consumption of alcohol beverages.
    This would not only be a major assault on the problem of drunk driving, but would also have an effect on virtually all other crimes such as these;
    murder, rape, assault, burglary, robbery, suicide, vandalism, wife beating, child beating, child molestation, the spread of aids, college binge drinking, animal cruelty, etc., the list is endless.
    If this proposition was made law, there could be a major reduction in all these areas of concern, even though the emphasis concerning alcohol abuse seems to be drunk driving in particular.
    There could also be many other positive results;
    families healed, better work performance, booze money spent on products that would help the economy (we’ve all heard of the guy who spends half his check in the bar on payday,) would spare many health problems, etc.
    This new law could go something like this:
    Any person found guilty of any crime where drinking was a factor would lose the right to purchase and/or consume alcohol beverages.
    For a first misdemeanor, a three year revocation. a second misdemeanor, a ten year revocation. a third misdemeanor, a lifetime revocation. Any felony crime, an automatic lifetime revocation.
    Anyone caught drinking alcohol without a permit would receive a possible $1000 fine and/or jail sentence. those who would supply alcohol to people without a drinking permit (and possibly make money at it,) would also lose his/her right to purchase alcohol beverages.
    What wife or husband would buy an alcoholic spouse a bottle?
    What friend would give a problem drinker a drink at the possible cost of a thousand bucks and the loss of their own privilege? This could be a total discouragement to these would-be pushers.
    This permit doesn’t seem as though it would be a problem to put into effect. It could simply be a large X, or whatever, on the back of any drivers license in any state, to show who has been revoked, and cannot purchase alcohol.
    Most people of drinking age have a driver’s license, but one area that might be a problem could be New York City, where many people don’t drive.
    This problem could be resolved, however, by a license-type I.D. specifically for the purchase of alcohol beverages. Most, if not all states have these already for the purpose of identification.
    This could be a small price to pay for the saved lives of thousands of Americans each and every year.
    After this, it would simply be a matter of drinking establishments checking I.D.s at the time of purchase.
    In the case of crowded bars, they could simply check I.D.s at the door, as they do now.
    Would this be a violation of rights?
    There can be no argument here since they already check I.D.s of people who look as though they may not be old enough to drink.
    This could be a good saying, “If a person who doesn’t know how to drive shouldn’t have a license to drive, a person who doesn’t know how to drink shouldn’t have a license to drink.”
    Here are some other pluses to this idea:
    A good percentage of people in correctional institutions are there because of alcohol related offences . Because of this, court, penal, and law enforcement costs could drop dramatically.
    The need for A.A., ALANON, MADD, SADD, etc., could be greatly diminished as well.
    What the alcoholic fears most, is the temptation to have that first drink, usually a spur of the moment type thing. Without the ability to do this, he/she is fairly safe. To start drinking again would almost have to be planned in advance. and to maintain steady drinking would be extremely difficult, in most cases.
    Even though A.A. members as a group don’t become involved in political movements, it seems as individuals, they would all be in favor of a situation like this. Any person who wants to quit drinking, even if never having been in trouble with the law, could simply turn in their license for the non-drinking type.
    A woman from MAAD, on the NBC TODAY show, said “One out of every ten Americans has a drinking problem, and that 10% consumes 60% of all alcohol beverages sold in the U.S..”
    If this is true, there could be financial problems for breweries, liquor stores, bars, rehab centers, etc., as well as lawyers, massive amounts of tax revenue ‘down the drain,’ and so on.
    But it doesn’t seem as though anyone would have a valid argument against a proposal such as this for financial reasons. To do so would be morally wrong, and could be likened to a drug-pusher attitude.
    Even with the problems this new law could present, it still could, in one sense, be considered the simple solution to the number one drug problem in the U.S. and elsewhere. Alcoholism.
    P.S.
    What ever happened to the skid row drunk?