Minors Learn the Dangers of Underage Drinking

Beware of the Grim Reaper

Given that today is Friday the 13th and Americans are a superstitious bunch, I think a recent idea to use The Grim Reaper to help promote awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving is apropos. North Muskegon High School in Michigan were treated to a creative way to make students aware of the number of alcohol-related death they and their peers face daily.

The students arrived at school expecting a treat. Perhaps some candy taped to the outside of their locker, or perhaps a free homework pass.  Instead, they were visited by The Grim Reaper.

Everyone Must Face the Grim Reaper

There is no doubt that many adolescents feel invincible.  Part of maturing is taking risks. All of us who have experienced this phase know all too well that even if we are aware of possible negative repercussions, we are too careful for it to happen to us.

Other than needing oxygen, water and sustenance the only true fact of life is that we all eventually will face the Grim Reaper.

A Great Educational Experience – Every 15 Minutes

At North Muskegon, a pair of off-duty police officers dressed up like the Grim Reaper and collected some students from class, taking them out to a parking lot complete with a car accident, emergency personnel and bloody body underneath blankets on the road.

It is an extremely disturbing statistic, but research has shown that a teenager dies in an alcohol-related accident every 15 minutes in the United States alone. As part of the “Every 15 Minutes” program, the Grim Reaper would bring out another student every 15 minutes.

The students who were visited by the Grim Reaper were sent back to class wearing black T-shirts and not allowed to speak to anyone for the rest of the day. They were call the “living dead.”

It is very difficult to get teens to acknowledge they are not invincible.  Unless they have personally experienced a tragedy involving drinking and driving they do not believe they could possibly become a statistic.  Imaginative ideas like these may help shake these kids loose so that they can look outside the box they have created for themselves and understand their own mortality.

Source: http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2011/05/north_muskegon_high_school_stu_2.html

Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)

Can’t Argue Out of This One

It does not matter whether you are a school teacher, firefighter, police officer, doctor, politician or attorney, alcohol can cause a problem in your life.  Sometimes it seems like professional athletes, politicians and lawyers feel like they are invincible or above the law, but reality always will catch up with you if you confront it often enough.

Recently I blogged about a school teacher in the United Kingdom who had been drinking white wine out of a water bottle and a school bus driver who was arrested for a DUI and having a loaded weapon next to her seat.  These were both 57-year-old women showing zero common sense.

OWI – Beware of this Common Offense

Now comes the story of the Town Attorney getting arrested for OWI.  You don’t hear about this offense too often, but I assure you it is quite common. 

Quick – guess what it stands for.  If you answered “operating while intoxicated” you were correct.

If you Can’t Start Your Car Maybe the Problem is You!

Here is how the situation with Town Attorney (Perry McCall) went down.  A police officer from Sellersburg, Indiana found McCall in his car with the key in the ignition trying to start the engine.  The officer heard McCall complaining to someone else in the parking lot that he had been trying to start the engine for 10 minutes.

Police officers are very observant.  Upon hearing this, the officer gave McCall a thorough examination noting his glassy eyes, poor dexterity and a strong odor of alcohol.

Bad Breath

Realizing he might be in trouble with the officer looking over his shoulder, McCall explained to the officer that he was only trying to start the engine for a sober friend who was going to drive the vehicle.  He was with two young women at the time, neither of whom are mentioned in the police report.

There was little doubt of McCall’s drunkenness as he submitted to a breathalyzer on the scene and blew a 0.19.  He currently is facing a number of charges and his punishment could be up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine.

On the positive side, the Town Council has decided that McCall will keep his job since this will not affect his performance.  On a side note, this is the 2nd time McCall has been cited for OWI, having also been busted in 2001.

Best Customer Service I Have Ever Encountered

Here at Online Alcohol Class, we prefer to use our blog to talk about the goings on with alcohol awareness, alcoholism, underage drinking and related topics. But from time to time, we do like to talk a little about our products and what we offer.

Now you might think from our website that what we offer is just alcohol awareness classes and minor in possession classes. That's not the whole truth. We try to deliver a customer service experience which is superior to every other online and classroom education provider out there.

We know that often our students are in a state of stress. They might have a court related requirement which is looming on the horizon. If they have to take an alcohol class or MIP class they might have other family, legal or personal problems that they are dealing with. So we understand that making the experience with us as smooth as possible will make their lives just a little better.

Here's a recent testimonial we received from a customer:

"Thank you for helping me so quickly. Best customer service I have ever encountered. Greatly appreciated."

We really love getting these unsolicited comments from our customers. In this case, the client needed to make a change to their class and we tried to quickly and courteously respond. Other things that we try to include:

  • Easy to reach customer support. Our customers can contact us both via email and phone. We have a real phone number posted right on our site.
  • A no-nonsense guarantee. If for any reason you aren't satisfied with our product we'll give you a refund. 
  • Fast certificate shipping. We ship our certificates every business day because we understand that once you finish the class you want to get your certificate as soon as you can.
  • Handle special requests. If you have a need for a particular length of class, we'll do it. Other requests? Just call us and ask!
  • An easy to use class. Many companies tell you their products are easy to use. But once you start their program you find out you need flash or download a pdf or other program. Our years of experience has created a truly simple product.
  • Free and helpful blog. This blog is, of course, free. But we spend time trying to give our clients and other people on the web information that we find interesting and hopefully they find interesting. And maybe we try to add a little humor as well?
  • Really great classes. All this wouldn't matter if the class wasn't really great. And by great we mean well researched materials that are presented in a clear and understandable fashion. And we're always trying to improve our classes so your feedback is welcome.

So enough tooting our horn in this blog. Let's get back to the interesting topics that you guys like reading!

Be Aware that Alcohol is a Major Carcinogen

Move over tobacco you have just been passed. According to a recent study by the Cancer Council, alcohol is responsible for 5% of all cancer cases and for as much as 20% of all breast cancer cases. 

Class 1 Carcinogen

According to the leader of the Cancer Council, Ian Olver, alcohol should be classified as a Class One carcinogen. This places alcohol up there right alongside tobacco and asbestos for substances that cause cancer.

In the past alcohol had primarily been associated with liver cancer, as well as cancers of the head and neck. But new evidence has shown that alcohol accelerates the chances of contracting one of the most popular cancers found in women.

Look Out Ladies!

Once again research has come out that alcohol is more hazardous to the health of women than men. Of course alcohol likes to bind with fatty tissue and that has always been a major reason why women are more susceptible to ill effects to their health from alcohol consumption.

Given that it is the primary cause for 1 in 5 breast cancer cases is quite alarming. Twenty-five percent of all cancers found in women in the USA are breast cancer (second only to skin cancer). In 2009 there were an estimated 192,000 new cases of breast cancer in women in the USA alone. That would make alcohol responsible for almost 40,000 cases of breast cancer in women every year.

The key is moderation or abstinence. Even scientists like Olver agree that consuming one alcoholic beverage a day should be fine.

Irish Alcohol Consumption Tragedy

Some parents are more lenient when it comes to their children experimenting and even using drugs or alcohol. Some parents allow their teens to have a drink at the dinner table or even allow their child to go to social gatherings where they have a pretty good idea that drugs and alcohol may be involved.

Still other parents actually serve alcohol to their teens and their friends. The thought process is a rational one – they would keep the children in their home so that they don’t do something stupid like do drugs or drink and drive.

Illegal Stupidity

Despite it sounding rational to many people, providing alcohol to your children and their friends in your own home is not only morally wrong, but illegal. Growing up one of my classmates had a party, without parental consent. One of the kids crashed into a tree after leaving the party. Guess who got sued? Yep – the parents. They are responsible for the alcohol in their home. Be smart don’t supply it.

Irish Tragedy

Perhaps you saw the story out of the United Kingdom last weekend where a 15-year-old Irish girl died at a party after taking drugs. The parents, one of whom is a lecturer at a British university, allowed his 14-year-old daughter to host a party while he and his girlfriend went out.

Of course it was poor common sense to leave these teenagers alone to have a party. The underlying issue here is that middle-class parents are in denial that their children and/or their friends are using drugs.

The key here is to show some common sense. Understand that all teens are exposed to drugs and alcohol. Never assume your kids are different. This tragedy easily could have been avoided had parents had more common sense. Maybe if the children had taken a minor in possession or alcohol awareness class it could have been avoided

Presidential Alcohol Awareness - Part 4

As the 20th Century began to unfold and the United States was flooded with new immigrants, the attitude of a strong majority of people was to sour on alcohol consumption.  This 4-part series on the history of “presidential drinking.”  If you care to go back part 1, part 2 or part 3 which cover the alcohol consumption habits of presidents up through Theodore Roosevelt and into the Prohibition Era.

Role-Model Presidents

As we learned in the third-installment of this series, Teddy Roosevelt was a teetotaler.  Getting back to our original premise that the president is a role model for Americans, the presidents of the early 20th Century led the way.  Following Teddy were Taft and Woodrow Wilson.  Neither Taft nor Wilson drank alcohol.  It was during Wilson’s second term in office that the 18th Amendment was passed and ratified.

It has been said that Warren G. Harding won the presidency in 1921 because of his stature and charisma.  He was a tall (almost 6’4) and supposedly gave off a charismatic aura that drew people to him. 

He, like many US residents, completely disregarded Prohibition Laws.  He liked to drink and was smart enough to realize he really wasn’t smart enough to be President of the United States of America.  He drowned his guilt of being overwhelmed with a constant influx of alcohol and tobacco.  If he wasn’t smoking tobacco he was chewing it.  If it was evening, you could bet there was a drink close by.

A New Deal

While Harding drank despite the laws, Franklin Delano Roosevelt truly ushered in a “New Deal” for alcohol by overturning the 18th Amendment in 1933.  While not a heavy drinker, Franklin was known to indulge in a little bit of spiked egg not.

Following in FDR’s footsteps couldn’t have been easy.  But fortunately for our country the perfect man for the job, although few though him capable of the job, came into the picture.  A man of action who coined the famous phrase “the buck stops here” to show he takes responsibility for all under his command, Truman liked to have at least one shot of Bourbon each day.  He definitely could drink to the point of intoxication on occasion, but certainly was a man of moderation.

All in Moderation

All of the presidents since Truman have been drinkers at some point in their life.  All were fairly moderate drinkers with the exception of Reagan who drank almost no alcohol, and George W Bush who was an alcoholic but did not drink a drop during his presidency.

Some would argue that Gerald Ford was too fond of his gin and tonics, or that Nixon loved his rum and coke, but neither of these two demonstrated drinking problems before, during or after their presidencies. 

During the 60s alcohol seemed to be all the rage.  Just watch an episode of the television series “Mad Men” to get a decent glimpse as to the large role alcohol played in people’s lives.  Perhaps JFK drank more than we thought.

Slick Willie to Obama

Does William Jefferson Clinton have a drinking problem?  They say that if you ever had an accident and were heavily intoxicated at the time, you have a drinking problem.  I do recall Bill tearing his knee while falling down the stairs at golf great Greg Norman’s estate in Florida.  He was intoxicated at the time.  Other than that one incident, Clinton kept his name clean on the alcoholism front, so we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

As we mentioned earlier, Bush (the 2nd) was a teetotaler his entire time in office.   Current president Barack Obama is definitely a moderate drinker.  They serve sparkling wine at all state functions and he has been known to tip back a beer (Bud Light is his favorite).

That concludes our look at “presidential drinking.”  For the most part the presidents behaved themselves.  Certainly there has not been a heavy drinker in the oval office since Warren G Harding.  Hopefully we will continue to have presidents who model the behavior we should seek ourselves and we hope for our children.

Presidential Alcohol Awareness - Part 3

As the title suggests, this is the third part in a 4-part series on the history of “presidential drinking.”  Part one dealt with the drinking habits of the Founding Fathers while part two looked at presidents up through Civil War hero-President Ulysses S. Grant.  In this installment we begin with one the last presidents of the 19th Century – Chester Alan Arthur. Just a little free alcohol education for our students.

I know what you’re thinking – “was he the fat one?”  While he was overweight, due in part to his prodigious drinking habit, the man generally of thought of as the “Fat President” is William Howard Taft.  How much Arthur drank before getting into office is subject to many interpretations, but generally he was considered to be a man who liked to drink daily.  During his four years in office Arthur gained 40 pounds.

Only 4 Beers A Day

What comes to mind when you think of Grover Cleveland?  One of the students in my alcohol awareness class thought he was an old-time baseball pitcher.  The pitcher was actually Grover Alexander, who interestingly was born during one of the times Grover Cleveland was president (1887).

You history buffs I am sure are aware of that interesting piece of presidential trivia – Grover Cleveland (22nd and 24th president) is the only man to have help the Oval Office on two separate occasions.  He followed Chester Alan Arthur, serving from 1885 to 1889, before being unseated by Benjamin Harrison.  The people of the country must have wished they hadn’t elected Harrison, as they re-elected Cleveland in the following election. 

One thing to note of Grover Cleveland was his enormous beer belly.  During one of his presidential campaigns both he and his competitor vowed, that in an effort to stay clear-headed, they would only drink 4 beers per day.  They gave up on the plan after only a few short days.

Did Taft Party or What?

I am sure you all are wondering if William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the United States, to some envisioned as the “Fat President”, was a big time drinker.  I’ll tell you this, the man loved to socialize.  Taft was renowned for the social gatherings he had, events that definitely included alcoholic beverages for his guests.  Believe it or not, but the big guy was not a big drinker.  He was a sober life of the party.

Don’t Mess With Teddy!

Taft followed Teddy Roosevelt in office.  The first member of the Roosevelt family was known as a teetotaler.  He was a big drinker of coffee, but never touched beer or other alcoholic beverages.  Some publication made a claim that he was a heavy drinker and he sued them for libel, claiming under oath that he has “never been drunk or under the slightest influence of liquor.”  He won his case and was awarded .06 cents.

Teddy Roosevelt ushered into America the beginning of a changing outlook on alcohol consumption.  Over the course of the next 30 years America would go all the way to banning the sale and consumption of Alcohol with the passing of the 18th Amendment in 1919.

The next series of articles will deal with Prohibition Era presidents and go all the way through our current president, Barack Obama.