It is estimated that just short of 52 million cases of beer are sold on the weekend of the Superbowl. An estimated 1,500 gallons of beer is consumed at a major league baseball game – just one game. Then what happens? All of the people who drank the beer rush out, jump in their cars and head out on the highway.
Those who prefer not to indulge are also out on the road with families, sometimes totally unaware of the dangers headed their way from liquored-up sports fans. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done about this problem short of eliminating parking lots or banning people from driving to and from these events.
As long as alcohol is sold, people are going to buy it and sobriety checkpoints, on the whole, are a waste of the taxpayer’s money. People who want to avoid a checkpoint will just find an alternative route. After all, they’re not much of a surprise when their locations are announced in advance on television news programs.
While they do catch some drunk drivers (and that’s not a small thing) they mostly result in arrests and citations for invalid licensing, seatbelt violations and, if you can believe it, exposing illegal aliens. Sadly, however, the negative connotations that used to accompany drunkenness have all but evaporated.
In the old days, being arrested for public intoxication of any kind was shameful and downright humiliating – as it should be. Today, however, it seems like some people wear a DUI arrest like a badge of honor.
We have sitting judges, legislators, presidents and even church pastors who have answered to DUI charges out of one side of their mouths while lecturing the public against drunk driving from the other side. In Hollywood a DUI conviction is practically a prerequisite to having any sort of career.
Support groups and treatment programs, often funded by taxpayer dollars, offer debatable solutions to a problem that could have been prevented if the individual never started using in the first place.
As teens, boys are tormented by their peers and pushed to drink that first swallow, being led to believe that if they don’t, they will never be men. For what it’s worth, you don’t have to drink to be the life of the party. In fact, if you don’t, you’ll likely be the only one who actually remembers the party.
I have always found it contradictory that people who choose not to drink are often forced to justify their choice but the drinker never has to validate theirs. If people need to drink to deal with life or to be entertained, they have deeper issues than just an alcohol problem and should really seek help.
As you might expect, mine is an unpopular and uncommon opinion, primarily because most are reluctant to speak up due to social pressures. Pop culture has indoctrinated people to believe that if they do not partake in the party they are just not cool enough.
The truth is, nothing good ever came from using alcohol, but nothing bad ever happened because someone didn’t drink. A great many good people end up in bad situations because they couldn’t control their alcohol use.
Here’s a question. If the tobacco companies are responsible for the negative health effects of smoking, why are the liquor and beer manufacturers not held to the same standards? There’s a simple answer to that – money.
The sale of alcohol is a multi-billion-dollar industry in the United States, and around the world. Breweries and distilleries make up the valence of contributors to major league sports and even political campaigns.
Either way, it’s not the alcohol producers who are at fault for someone’s abuse of their product, any more than it is the responsibility of the gun manufacturer who made the pistol used to shoot someone. There has to be personal responsibility on the part of the general population. I know, that may be too much to ask in the age of the blame game.
If we’re going to lecture our kids about taking drugs, and, yes alcohol is a drug, then we’re going to have to drop the hypocritical behavior and put down the Pabst. Just saying no is not enough. We need to set the example.