Alcohol Awareness Classes Were No Part of Volstead Act

Let's look at some interesting facts about the Volstead Act and things that happened during Prohibition.

In the previous entry, we discovered that the act that banned alcohol in the country was named for a man who could have cared less whether or not people drank alcohol.

Did you know that the Act also included a clause that insured that there was “an ample supply of alcohol…to promote its use in scientific research and the development of fuel, dye and other lawful industries”? So, while banning alcohol, the act also insured there was an ample supply.

It has been speculated that a primary reason this law passed in the first place was due to the vague wording. The very fine print is where the true intent of the law is revealed. As we know with our elected representatives today, they do not read the legislation thoroughly. Today’s congressmen and senators have ample staff to go through the material, a luxury not available to elected officials in 1919. The fine print of the bill outlawed intoxicating beverages with an alcohol content greater than 0.5 percent – about the same as sauerkraut.

The majority of congressmen who supported the bill believed that beer and fortified wines would still be allowed. Oops – you should have read the whole bill!

We will continue to look at the Volstead Act and Prohibition in the next blog.

Did Volstead Produce Need for Alcohol Education?

As a counselor for online alcohol school, I like to learn about societal behavior and the laws that govern the consumption of fermented beverages. Recently, I was reading about the Prohibition era and learned some interesting information.

Did you know that the Volstead Act (the definitive law that outlawed fermented beverages) was remarkably vague? The law was named for Andrew J. Volstead, a senator from Minnesota whose most distinguishing attribute was a spectacular mustache that hung from his upper lip like a bearskin rug.

Though he did not imbibe, Volstead certainly did not mind that others did and personally never would have sought a national ban on alcohol. His name was attached because he was the chairman of the Judiciary Committee and helped draft the law.

Being associated with a ban on alcohol did nothing to support Volstead's favor in his home state – he was promptly voted out of office in the next election.

Unfortunately for the millions of Americans who were drinkers, the Volstead Act survived for many more years. Enacted in 1919, it stayed in effect until 1933.

We will continue to look at a few interesting tid bits on the Volstead act and the Prohibition Era in the next installment of the blog.

Do These Irish Kids Need Mandated Alcohol Education?

The problem with children using alcohol and other drugs is a global. As part of the blog, I look to look at incidents all over the planet to help our readers see what happens in other parts of the world. From the headline, I am sure you guessed that this blog deals with Ireland.

Children as young as 14 were left violently ill after binging on alcohol and class A drugs as a sell-out gig in Belfast descended into utter chaos. As reported in

Eighteen concert-goers were taken to hospital and dozens more needed medical treatment inside and outside the Odyssey Arena, where Dutch artist DJ Hardwell was playing to a crowd of 10,000 back in early February.

People described how they were confronted by scenes of horror in the aftermath of the gig, with some comparing the scene to a war zone.

One parent described seeing children with their mouths foaming and trying to jump in the River Lagan. Apparently they were overheated, and sweating profusely tried to cool off by jumping into the icy river.

Others stood in a daze both inside and outside the club with drool running out of their mouths, unable to communicate.

Charity workers who responded to the crisis told how children were left so ill that they could not speak and their eyes were rolling into the backs of their heads.

Teenagers admitted taking drugs including heroin, ecstasy and legal highs.

In total, 108 young people were treated inside and outside the venue.

Have you heard of events like these? Unfortunately they are becoming all too common. How do we keep our youth from experimenting with drugs and alcohol?

Crashing into Police Car Will Land You in Alcohol Class if Not Jail!

Every day thousands and thousands of people drink alcohol and drive under the influence. The scary fact is that less than 5% will get caught. Did you know it's been estimated that a driver over the legal blood-alcohol concentration limit of .08%, will operate a vehicle over 400 times before getting caught?

However, one way to get busted right away is to crash your vehicle into a cop car. As reported in

A southwest suburban woman was charged with drunk driving after she swerved into a Hickory Hills police car that was trying to pull her over and then fled from the scene, leaving behind two officers who were injured and trapped inside their squad car.

One of the injured officers recognized the driver as Olivia D. Aguilar, 22, and directed police to her home about a block away from the crash site, a Cook County prosecutor said Saturday.

Police tracked blood and shoeprints in the snow to Aguilar, who they reported was belligerent and seemed intoxicated.

Aguilar accelerated and swerved toward the officers when they lit their emergency lights and attempted to curb her for driving without headlights, said Assistant Cook County State’s Atty. Anisa Jordan.

Aguilar, of the 7900 block of West 93rd Street in Hickory Hills, smashed into the fully-marked cruiser and didn’t stop to check on the officers’ condition or offer help, Jordan said.

The officers had to be extricated from the cruiser and were hospitalized with bruising and swelling, Jordan said. Their prognosis was “to be determined,” Jordan told Cook County Associate Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil in bond court.

Aguilar faces a battery of charges, including two counts of aggravated battery, failure to stop after an injury accident, driving under the influence, failure to reduce speed, no proof of insurance, failure to give aid, no headlights and driving with a suspended license. Jordan said Aguilar’s license was suspended due to financial reasons.

Kuriakos Ciesil ordered Aguilar held Saturday on $10,000 bail. She’ll appear in court again Tuesday.

Will Tougher Laws Reduce Need for Alcohol Awareness Courses?

The desire to reduce the number of driving under the influence occurrences has been debated for more than 50 years. So far, there has not been one legitimate action that has significantly reduced DUI infractions with the exception of alcohol awareness classes. Once again, the notion that tougher punishment will keep people from driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. What do you think?

Do you think the laws should be tougher if a person is a repeat offender? I sure do. As reported in

In Seattle, a man who lost his parents and whose wife and infant son were seriously injured last March by a drunken driver is pushing the state to pass a measure that would make it a felony charge to drive under the influence when the driver has three prior offenses within 10 years.

Under current law, a DUI is a felony only if there are four or more prior offenses within 10 years. In the past lawmakers considered this but decided it would be too expensive. Given that a person have driven intoxicated more than 100 times for each time h is actually caught, this law seems like a no-brainer.

Why would it be more expensive? State officials claim that lowering the felony threshold to the third conviction would cost about $200 million for construction of a new prison to confine the number of drunken drivers.

It appears to me that Washington has a serious problem with alcoholism and DUI. I think they should implement mandatory alcohol awareness classes as part of the driver education program and people should lose their license much more quickly.

Could Faulty Breathalyzer Keep You Out of Alcohol School?

Are you sick and tired of guilty offenders getting off on technicalities? I remember hearing about someone getting out of a speeding ticket because the radar gun had not been properly calibrated. Now comes the same possibility with Breathalyzer tests.

An Oklahoma Supreme Court decision will likely affect some pending driving under the influence (DUI) cases in the state. Attorney Stephen Fabian successfully got his client's 2012 Breathalyzer results thrown out.

Fabian argued that the state did not an adequate list of maintenance procedures for their "Intoxilyzer 8000" written down at the time of his client's arrest. He claims that there never has been a procedure created that puts down in writing to say 'this is how it's supposed to be done. Typical legalese from an attorney, right?

This decision will affect dozens of pending DUI cases where the arrest was made before May of 2013. That's when the Board of Tests for Alcohol and Drug Influence listed its maintenance procedures for the Intoxilyzer 8000.

It certainly will garner more attention and fees for Fabian as his firm has at least 40 to 50 pending cases that could be affected. The decision will not impact DUI cases that have already been settled or pleaded out.

There are 164 Intoxilyzer 8000s now being used in the state of Oklahoma. It's the only model used by law enforcement in Oklahoma. What do you think about this?