Archive for May, 2008

Reclassify Alcopops

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

It is difficult to miss “alcopops” in grocery stores — they are sweet alcoholic beverages, usually fluorescent in color, and marketed primarily to girls. Many allege that these beverages disguise the taste of alcohol, while still fuelling intoxication. While containing liquor, alcopops are sold in the beer aisle of most grocery stores, blurring the distinction between hard alcohol and beer and more concerning, making them more accessible to true underage individuals. Alcopops serve as a tool of intoxication rather than appreciation, and mix sweet, often caffeinated substances with alcohol as a means of facilitating that process.

Recently, many have called for a recategorization of alcopops as liquor rather than beer, enabling an alcohol tax and transferring the purchase of these substances to designated liquor establishments. We at Choose Responsibility strongly support these efforts, and believe that alcopops help encourage binge drinking and run counter to the goals of alcohol education.

 Another camp wants to legally define alcopops as beer rather than liquor on the basis of taxation and regulation. Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland endorses such a bill in his state, thereby pandering to the alcohol industry and helping to further the problem of binge drinking amongst young adults.

 As more states take on the issue of Alcopops, we encourage you to voice your concerns about the implications of maintaining the status quo.

Educational leaders discuss the drinking age

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

John McCardell and Jeff Levy, member of the MADD Board of Directors, had essays featured in the May/June issue of Trusteeship magazine.  Trusteeship is distributed to members of governing boards at colleges and universities around the country, and is widely read by the leaders of higher education. 

Should Congress amend the National Minimum Drinking Age Act?

John McCardell’s perspective

Jeff Levy’s perspective

What do you think? Tell us which argument you find more convicing.

Out of sight, out of mind?

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Crackdowns are simply not working. Enacting prohibition for 18-20 year-olds has pushed the consumption of alcohol out of public view and into those private settings where risky drinking practices flourish. The Portland Press Herald describes tactics colleges and communities are using to curb “underage” drinking, only to see binge drinking flourishing behind closed doors. Risky drinking will only be minimized, and education possible, when laws are brought in line with social reality. We encourage you to peruse the Portland paper’s coverage of binge drinking and share your thoughts.

Testimonial #9

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

“I am an American but was educated abroad in England as well as in the US, both of my parents are American, but have lived extensively in other countries. Alcohol has ALWAYS been acceptable in my family and I have never had a problem drinking with my parents or with not being allowed to drink. I think that the laws in America are irresponsible and inappropriate. I feel very strongly about changing them, to the point where I would love to be involved with your group and any other who has the same values as I do. Having lived in a country where the drinking age was 18 for a bar, 16 at a restaurant, and no questions asked when you are with your parents, I can tell anyone that there is a huge societal difference, and one is very clearly better than the other. I think it is socially irresponsible for Americans to have such a high drinking age when it’s clear to everyone that people are not waiting until 21. That is simple stupidity. We need to not turn a blind eye to underage drinking, we need to change it and teach teenagers responsible drinking. Obviously drinking and driving is a problem and I personally feel it is exacerbated by the high drinking age and not helped. I know many kids who have been caught for DUI’s and I can tell you that a part of that is due to the fact that they have to hide their drinking from their parents, and as they can’t tell them they need a ride for being drunk, they just drive home. I’m not saying changing the legal age will fix drinking and driving, but obviously having the drinking age at 21 isn’t changing anything either. I just want to thank you all for making a group about this and making change a possibility.”

~Arianne Staples