[CR] Week in Review

Here in Washington, everyone is busy preparing for the upcoming Inauguration ceremonies (and record crowds) early next week. The Washington Post‘s Marc Fisher expressed some concerns about the potential chaos, particularly for D.C. restaurant and bar owners as they deal with the throngs of revelers. We’d like to remind everyone that if you’re traveling to D.C. for the Inauguration and want to celebrate, please do so responsibly. Here’s the latest edition of the [CR] Week in Review:

[CR] News:

State Senator Kent Rogert wants to make some changes to the age of majority in Nebraska: currently, state law sets the age of majority at 19, but if Rogert’s bill passes, the age of majority will be lowered to 18. However, Rogert has no plans to push for a change in the legal drinking age, meaning that Nebraskans age 18-20 would be adults in every way but one.

We already know that Legal Age 21 is rarely enforced – one study estimates that just two out of every 1,000 cases of underage drinking result in citation or arrest. While many prevention programs focus on strict rules for in-store sales, these laws miss a popular source of alcohol for underage drinkers.  According to the Fayetteville Reporter, a national study in 2006 estimated that over half a million underage drinkers bought alcohol online, where the buyer’s age is rarely verified. Researchers at the University of North Carolina are conducting a study intended to address the discrepancies in these laws.

In other news…

To change the culture of binge drinking among young adults, we’ll need to stop glamorizing alcohol so that we can educate people properly. Rick Reilly’s latest ESPN the Magazine column on the “next great American pastime” of beer pong isn’t helping the cause.

The U.S. Army is teaming up with researchers at the University of Calgary to help combat the problem of drunk driving by soldiers returning home from combat areas. The Toronto Globe and Mail reported that the Army is funding the development of a drunk driving simulator intended to show soldiers the dangers of driving while intoxicated. Jim Yonts, public information officer of the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center in Alabama, said that many young soldiers turn 21 while they are overseas, and return home without much of an education on the dangers of drunk driving. MADD Canada doesn’t like the program – what do you think?

Recent budget problems have forced some states to consider changes to their judicial systems that could affect drinking behaviors. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported this week that Governor Tim Pawlenty mandated 10% spending cuts at all state agencies. A group of law enforcement officials and judges, including state Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Magnuson, noted that budget cuts in the justice system could prevent courts from prosecuting minor crimes, including those involving underage drinking. Legal Age 21 is unenforceable for many reasons, and it appears that economic concerns might make the situation worse.

Check out these headlines, and leave us a comment if we missed anything.

3 Responses to “[CR] Week in Review”

  1. dan Says:

    When will the highway bill that has the drinking age clause be renewed/voted on?

  2. Edwin Says:

    The drinking in the United States must be lowered to 18. Because 18, 19, and 20 year olds are adults, they must be treated as adults. There can be an effective and safe drinking age at 18 if comprehensive alcohol education and alcohol acohol licensing programs are implemented. The current drinking age promotes ageism and false sterotypes. Finally, with a new culture of responsibility with a drinking age at 18, traffic accidents involving alcohol will significantly reduce. Don’t forget to place a comment.

  3. Edwin Says:

    Dan, to answer your question, the highway bill will renewed/voted this year.