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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 | Updated: 6:33 am, Wed Dec 26, 2012.

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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Welcome to the discussion.

12 comments:

  • Jamie McKaig posted at 6:41 am on Wed, Jan 23, 2013.

    JamieM Posts: 1

    Bring back the 18th!

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-back-the-18th-Amendment/323002751142108

     
  • Doug Chaney posted at 8:17 pm on Sat, Jan 5, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 499

    Mr. Hansen, you live in the right little town, Lodi, to be writing an article about alcohol, also considered an addictive drug, and the part it plays in fueling the economy and alcohol/drug addiction of those who reside and visit. Downtown is nothing but lounges, restaurants/bars, businesses that serve alcohol during the Friday night wine runs and wine tasting rooms, some that even serve beer for those who apparently don't like Lodi wine, of which there are many. Don't drive downtown on the weekend nights for fear of one of those sidewalk overimbibers walking out in front of you in the street in the middle of the block, some with drink still in hand, completely unaware of their surroundings, especially on School Street the next block from the theatre where there is a lounge and wine tasting room on one side of the street and directly across is another wine tasting room and the impaired overimbibers are stirring as early as 9pm. These are the same impaired drivers that are let loose from downtown Lodi's alcohol district knowing they don't have much to fear from LPD usually being anywhere near this area and when there is a license/dui checkpoint an all points bulletin on the whereabouts is usually well knownby late afternoon so impaired drivers are informed as to which routes to take to avoid those traffic citation stops. The city of Lodi gives the appearance of saying it's okay to drink and drive as long as you don't hit anything or anyone on your way home. The real slow death that alcohol brings along with it is the destruction of the family unit, with the closet alcoholics whose spouses or children, or both, are scared to death of them and yet are too fearful to seek help or call the police. It's taboo in Lodi to see a dignitary, well connected or recognized face or name at any AA/NA meetings here in Lodi/Stockton for their fear of being exposed as the real personality that is the drunk/addict afraid to seek treatment or get help. This is the town that Lodi has become judging by the way too many eastablishments that serve alcohol, a drug, that are located in Lodi, especially in the downtown enterprise zone area.

     
  • Patrick W Maple posted at 4:33 pm on Fri, Dec 28, 2012.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Besides...we already have a ton of laws that regulate, who, what, where, when, how much, to whom, from whom, if, can and will have alcohol...now we are tying to legalize pot and other substances...look how well THEY have worked.

    Good points Ted, Sam, Ron and DB...mrl you are out in left field...picking daisies.

     
  • Ted Lauchland posted at 3:11 pm on Fri, Dec 28, 2012.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 253

    Your sarcasm has more truth than fiction Mr. Hansen when it comes to removal of freedoms. You might be surprised if you ever try to insure wine making equipment what you will run into. Right Mr. Werner?
    For every new law created our freedoms and personal responsibilities are compromised.
    Sheeple are lulled into a false sense of security with the promise of a "civilized" world.
    I live in the country and I believe I know better.If you live in the city you should know even better than I. My coyotes are smaller but yours are meaner.

    Defend yourself and the people you are charged with. Be responsible. Predators are predators. Politicians promise to get re-elected meanwhile the "Wild West" is alive and kicking and it will never change. Take ANY SUBJECT , magnify it, make a law regulating it to keep the lawmakers busy and the free people in a straight jacket - but safe - until someone comes along and uses their brain and changes the game - again. There are risks with everthing we do.Removing our brains would be the best bet. Oh wait - sound familiar?
    Don't forget to make a law against choking on oversized pieces of food. We can't have that now can we ?

    The "Waltons" style family unit had more value than we could have ever realized now only trying to replace it with law upon law, dollar upon dollar.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 10:51 am on Fri, Dec 28, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    [thumbup][lol]

     
  • Ron Werner posted at 11:13 pm on Thu, Dec 27, 2012.

    Ron Werner Posts: 84

    Alcohol is not the only reason for the carnage on our nations highway - its the automobile. Not the incompetent, drug influenced, speeder, cell phone user, and those who need their dogs to assist them in driving but the automoble itself.
    An outright ban on those air polluting, energy robbing, resource wasting automobles is what we need. Once they are banned i think we will see a definite decrease in drunk driving accidents.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:16 pm on Thu, Dec 27, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    mr.Lucas, it was your satire I was referring to as bizarre... I guess that went right over your head.

     
  • John Lucas posted at 12:18 pm on Thu, Dec 27, 2012.

    John Lucas Posts: 2726

    The fact that satire goes over your head is no surprise

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:11 am on Thu, Dec 27, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Steve stated...Have public employee unions divest any and all stocks relating to alcohol, no matter how profitable they are, or potentially costly to taxpayers

    Excellent point!

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:10 am on Thu, Dec 27, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Is Lodi News Sentinel running a contest to see which liberal can come up with the most bizarre statements and conclusions? I wonder who is in first place so far.[tongue_smile]

     
  • John Lucas posted at 6:20 am on Wed, Dec 26, 2012.

    John Lucas Posts: 2726

    I think we should take a note from the NRA and what they think the solution for gun violence in our country. We should require teachers to have liquor on them at all times. We should be able to have liquor on our person and opened anytime anywhere especially when driving. This will defend freedom. Drunk people do not do stupid things, people do stupid things.

     
  • Sunny Samuels posted at 3:21 am on Wed, Dec 26, 2012.

    Sunny Samuels Posts: 56

    I Love it Steve!![thumbup]

     

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