[CR] Week in Review

As we mentioned earlier this week, a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that nearly 28% of 12-20 year-olds have consumed alcohol in the past month, which is a number that has not changed much in the past 10 years. Our current approach to alcohol education doesn’t seem to be having much of an impact, so it may be time to consider new alternatives. For more on what those alternatives could look like, check out this week’s headlines:

Stories this week:

Upper Arlington, Ohio attorney Brad Koffel has represented hundreds of underage students who have been prosecuted for a minor in possession violation, and he has concluded that our approach to alcohol education is broken: “We have become a nation so obsessed with ‘zero tolerance’ that we are failing to adopt simple precautions that can prevent dangerous decisions that might harm our kids forever.” What do you think?

The editors of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis criticized the state legislature for trying to micromanage the University of Minnesota’s alcohol sales policy at TCF Stadium. They believe the University should be allowed to determine its own policies. What’s your take on this debate?

If you missed Karin Kasdin’s great column in The Faster Times about the challenges posed by Legal Age 21, check it out here.

In other news…

The AlcoholEdu program for incoming first-years at Kansas University is having a positive effect on student binge drinking, according to Jesse Fray’s report in the Lawrence Journal-World. The program indicated that after taking the course, students were more likely to set limits on their consumption, play fewer drinking games, and closely monitor how much alcohol is in their system.

In other news from KU, a class of 34 journalism students will tour college campuses nationwide in search of the most effective anti-binge drinking campaigns and campus alcohol policies. Bob Basow, the course’s instructor, told the Journal-World, “We’re delighted to be working on something that’s going to so directly benefit KU. A culture of responsible drinking will enable students to have a good time and enjoy the vibrant social atmosphere (but) there won’t be negative consequences.”

Until recently, those stationed on the Guam naval base between the ages of 18 and 20 were allowed to consume alcohol, but Naval Base Guam policy has now been changed so that on-base consumption is prohibited for this age group. Navy personnel age 18-20 can still purchase and consume alcohol while not on base, since the drinking age in Guam is 18. Navy officials said the change was made to bring the Guam base’s policy in line with the policies in all other states and territories. What do you think will be the consequences of this change?

If we missed something in this week’s update, send us a link in the comments.

One Response to “[CR] Week in Review”

  1. Edwin Says:

    The drinking age must be lowered to 18 along with education and licensing. It’s good that Brad Koffel has represented many of those aged 18-20 who were charged “minor” in possession. He’s correct that “zero tolerance” is a failure but those 18-20 are not “kids” but young women or young men. AlcoholEdu is doing a good job in decreasing binge drinking. The naval base in Guam has done serious wrong by raising the drinking age to 21 which is ageism. That naval base will suffer the consequences as in the states.