Alcohol Nannies: Time-Out Needed

Two steps forward, one step back. Or vice versa? A well-executed article by David Harsanyi examines the alarming shift from prevention to prohibition amongst “alcohol nannies” — most notably, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The long-term reduction of alcohol-related fatalities, and overall fatalities more generally, should be applauded and attributed to automotive safety innovation and effective campaigns encouraging the use of seat belts and designated drivers.  However, we must also consider the fact that alcohol-related fatalities have remained stable since 1997, and trended upward over the past decade.   Targeting and arresting casual, moderate drinkers is a waste of time and resources, and provides a free ride for those hardcore drunk drivers who continually violate the law and place themselves and others at risk. The reversal in drunken driving trends is therefore not surprising. Americans who illustrate responsible and moderate alcohol use should be commended, not arrested.  In order to move forward, we need to turn away from prohibition and towards the core mission of preventing and reducing drunk driving.

2 Responses to “Alcohol Nannies: Time-Out Needed”

  1. Jana Says:

    Firstly, let me say as a soon to be public health official I can honestly say that I am totally 50/50 on this issue- which if anyone of this blog knew me you would be shocked. I can see both sides of the aisle. . . I don’t drink- for many reasons:
    1. I am bi-polar- alcohol and meds don’t mix
    2. I have an ulcer
    3. I can’t afford it (ha)
    4. My religion (some might say that should be at the top if you knew my religion)

    However. . . I did spend my entire college career as the DD (Designated Driver) and was Panhellenic President) so I feel fairly versed on the issues. I also have a brother who has a drinking problem who should and yes SHOULD have a DUI. I say this sadly because it is one way for treatment. I agree that the system is “messed up” (as my little brother age 20) would say- but a month ago when he rolled his car while “only” having a “couple beers” and also being on his medication could have killed him and others. . . I ask you. . . where now? My mother keeps bailing him out. . . Again, I see both sides- but he is 20, he has access, he drinks, I live 2000 miles away from him, I am not there to call. . . so what does drinking and driving really have to do with the age limit? and studies DO show that young drivers are without a doubt “worse” drivers in general. . . so will we have more drunk young drivers if we lower the drinking age? (I am also playing devils advocate)

  2. Corey Says:

    Not all young drivers are bad drivers. George Bush was arrested for a DUI in 1976 in Maine for driving too slowly and he was 30 and had a drinking problem back then. Candy lightner, ABI, and NMA says we need to go after the most dangerous drunks and rehabilitate them instead of harsh penalties that punish social drinkers.