Friday, November 27, 2009

Idea - Proposal to Curb Alcohol Abuse

This is an excerpt from a recent Letter to the Editor of the Dunn County News written by Mr. Charles M. Barnard.

"People who abuse alcohol are dangerous. We know this, and I won't belabor the point.

Not everyone abuses alcohol, but those who do, repeatedly do so. Yet anyone with cash and age identification can buy as much as they want.

It's long past time that changed. There is no reason to permit people with known records of alcohol related problems to be allowed to buy the stuff. It's not even difficult to implement a system to help control such purchases.

Conviction of an alcohol-related charge should carry a mandatory "no purchase" penalty - for at least a year. Further convictions should make the prohibition permanent. This would include OWI and assault or other violent act where the perpetrator is shown to have been under the influence.

It's even easy to implement.

Driver's licenses and other identification issued by the state should be color coded and carry a printed "may not possess alcohol" warning. And such identification must be shown to purchase bottled goods, meaning people with such prohibitions would not be permitted in establishments which serve alcohol. All underage DLs would automatically be coded.

Like every other abusable substance, alcohol abuse is a serious problem for only a percentage of the population - but it is a deadly problem. This plan permits those who are capable of using alcohol safely to do so, while preventing those who cannot from accessing the substance.

Would it eliminate the problem?

Of course not. But it would certainly cut down on the availability to those with a problem, without drastically interfering with the natural rights of those responsible people to live their lives."

I think this is a pretty good idea although I would change the permanent inability to buy alcohol to requiring the person to successfully complete some kind of alcohol treatment program before giving that right back after a second offense. (I guess I assume that one offense is possibly just a really stupid mistake. A second offense is probably an addiction. That may or may not be true.)

So alcoholism isn't the usual focus of this blog but I am getting interested in easy ideas to make the world and the Church better and this seems like one.

Now it is nice to have a good idea but how can something like this be started on the path to implementation? I decided to contribute $4.40 to the cause. I am xeroxing the article and sending it with my comments to ten people in government and other community leaders that I think might be able to move forward with it.

An easy idea and an easy response. Your comments, as always, are welcome here. :)

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