[CR] Week in Review

In case you missed it early this week, check out Paul Clarke’s post on the New York Times group blog “Proof” about teaching moderation and responsibility. The editors at “Proof” discuss a wide range of topics, from addiction issues to cultural attitudes about alcohol, and they often have posts that are worth reading. For other news on binge drinking and our alcohol culture, read the stories from around the country in today’s [CR] Week in Review:

[CR] News:

Following up on last week’s hearing on the drinking age in New Hampshire, The Dartmouth columnist Emily Johnson called for “a national referendum on the drinking age.”

Check out the details of the program on the Amethyst Initiative at Clarkson University – school administrators have arranged for a panel discussion and debate, and have also created a special classroom seminar for students interested in studying the issue.

Students in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Western New York will have opportunities to discuss the drinking age at local events next week: The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will host a panel of school administrators, local physicians, and veterans on Feb. 17th, and Geneseo State University will host its own forum on Feb. 16th.

In other news…

Looking for more evidence that Legal Age 21 isn’t working? Maura Lerner of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported on a study done by researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Centers for Disease Control that revealed some alarming statistics about the frequency of binge drinking among active-duty military personnel. According to the study, 43% of active duty personnel admitted to frequent binge drinking in 2005. A 2002 survey reported similar numbers, but this time around, “researchers were surprised at the frequency of binge drinking, especially among those younger than the legal drinking age of 21.” The survey indicates that 44% of those aged 17 to 20 reported binge drinking in the last 30 days, adding up to 5 million episodes of binge drinking by personnel under 21 in that year.

This week, some states enacted tougher legislation to combat drunk driving: a new law in South Carolina increases penalties for convicted drunk drivers and drivers who refuse a breath test, while an ignition interlock bill is being discussed in Wyoming.

Social host laws that penalize adults for providing alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 often cause controversy when they’re introduced. The residents in Iowa City, Iowa considered instituting such a law this week, but they decided that the law was unnecessary. “There are already laws on the books and we can enforce those,” Iowa City council member Mike O’Donnell said. These social host laws are designed to curb dangerous drinking, but they can also prevent parents from introducing their own children to alcohol safely. What do you think about them?

Did we miss anything in this week’s update? Send us a note in the comments.

One Response to “[CR] Week in Review”

  1. Edwin Says:

    The more debate-the better because in this fashion, solutions can be found to solve alcohol abuse among adults 18-20. The current drinking age is very ineffective and hasn’t or will it ever reduce alcohol abuse, thus the drinking age must be 18 and the alcohol program implemented. However, the South Carolina and Wyoming laws increasing penalties for DUI offenders are good. Implementing laws for underage drinking to me is highly unreasonable because 18-20 year olds are adults and must be treated as adults. Finally, If you’re a member of change.org, I recommend adding Choose Responsiblity to your nonprofits on your profile. Don’t forget to comment.