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Alcohol kills more than guns — why not control it, too?

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Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 12:00 am

As tragic as the Newtown shooting is, it pales in comparison to deaths created by drunk drivers across the United States.

On average, more than 28 people PER DAY are killed by these impaired individuals in alcohol-related incidences!

It's time Congress and the state of California take action and pass laws to do something about this preventable misfortune.

When the next fatal accident happens, have non-stop media coverage for at least 72 hours. This will motivate people to demand legislative action.

Solutions should include the following:

  • Limit the size of bottles and cans. No alcoholic beverage container should hold more than 8 ounces. Anything larger than this makes no sense in a civilized society.
  • Limit purchases to one bottle or can per month. No one should be buying hoards of liquor bottles and storing them in kitchen cabinets.
  • Before any purchase, require customers to take a true and false test relating to safe usage of these beverages. Charge a $25 fee for administration. Any person who can't pass the test obviously shouldn't be drinking.
  • Require a fiveto 10-day waiting period after purchase. During this time, require that a federal background check be made for any criminal history.
  • Insist that anyone who buys an alcoholic beverage have a state license that authorizes purchase of these products. Require a $50 fee to renew annually (Calif. Only).
  • Make it illegal for a felon to possess alcohol. Anyone who has been convicted of domestic violence would have the same restriction.
  • Make it a felony for anyone who attends a wine show in another state to cross borders with a product purchased at that event.
  • In order to prevent a police officer from being confused, top all non-alcoholic beverages with a bright orange cap. This could prevent an innocent person from being accidentally shot.
  • Have public employee unions divest any and all stocks relating to alcohol, no matter how profitable they are, or potentially costly to taxpayers.

These nine simple and practical steps should definitely curb the carnage that is taking place on our nation's highways each and every day. Why Congress has not enacted these ideas in the past remains a mystery. Certainly, lobbyists from the liquor industry have prevented consideration.

Reasonable and rational legislative solutions like these can show constituents that politicians have control over any problem. These steps are a very small price and inconvenience to pay for the vast majority of Americans who drink responsibly. In addition, these ideas should make the average person feel safer, knowing that those who insist on drinking and driving only will be able to buy their products on the black market.

Please contact your state and federal representatives today and insist that this intelligent plan be enacted as soon as possible.

Tomorrow, another 28 innocent lives will depend on it.

Steve Hansen is a Lodi writer.

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