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?

New Utah Law Will Put More People into Alcohol Educational Classes

It just so happens I just wrote about how I hate seeing guilty people escape through loopholes. That blog entry was about an Oklahoma court that was about to throw out numerous driving under the influence convictions based on the level of calibration of a Breathalyzer.

It appears there is a law enforcement official and state legislator in Utah who would agree with me. As reported in

Rep. Lee Perry, a Utah Highway Patrol lieutenant, doesn’t like it when drunken drivers use legal loopholes to escape conviction.

The Republican introduced a bill that would reword the state’s driving under the influence (DUI) law. Currently the law bans driving "under the influence" of alcohol or drugs "to a degree that renders a person incapable of safely operating a vehicle."

The trouble is that attorneys argue that if a person was pulled over for something besides erratic driving — such as a broken tail light — police don’t really know if the driver was intoxicated to a degree that made them "incapable of safely operating a vehicle."

His bill would reword the law so that it bans driving while "impaired to the slightest degree" by alcohol or drugs. How do you feel about that? A dose of cough syrup could trigger a positive alcohol result on a Breathalyzer.

I am in favor of stricter DUI laws, but I also encourage stronger efforts at education. More alcohol awareness classes and online DUI classes could seriously help prevent DUI behavior.

Penn State Grappler Headed to DUI Program?

Athletes should know better than to abuse drugs and alcohol. As a counselor for DUI and alcohol classes, I warn my students about the dangers of drugs and alcohol all the time. Many of my students are athletes.

This is yet another blog entry about a high-level athlete busted by using alcohol.

Penn State wrestler Ed Ruth has been charged with DUI stemming from a late-night incident last month in downtown State College. As if Penn State needs any more bad publicity (of course they are still reeling from the child molestation charges against former football coach Jerry Sandusky).

The 23-year-old Ruth, an All-American wrestler, had a blood-alcohol content of 0.281 percent — more than three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent — when he crashed his car trying to park.

Ruth was trying to park in front of Taco Bell around 2 a.m. when his vehicle struck a tree and ended up on the curb.

The two-time NCAA champion was swaying and staggering as he walked, and slurred and mumbled his speech.

Ruth faces two misdemeanor DUI charges.

Wisely, the Penn State wrestling program suspended Ruth on Nov. 19. I hope they require an online alcohol awareness class so he understands how to abstain from alcohol in the future.

Middle Class Needs an Alcohol Class

There is no doubt the middle class in America is suffering. It is suffering from low pay, unemployment, high costs and a variety of other fiscal and social maladies. One such area is alcoholism.

Latest figures show the number of alcohol-related hospital admissions of so-called white collar workers has doubled in the last 10 years. Why do you think that is? As reported in

I recently read an article that America is not the only country suffering from this trend. The majority of Europe as well as South America and Central America also have seen an increase in alcohol-related incidents among the middle class.

There are so many adverse effects of drinking alcohol that it is frightening to learn that our nation’s backbone is suffering. Some of these effects include months of life lost as a result of alcohol, alcohol-linked deaths, chronic liver disease, hazardous drinking and binge drinking.

In a recent study, almost a quarter, some 23.6 per cent, of adults admit to consuming at least twice the recommended daily amount of alcohol in a single drinking session.

This trend is not so much people having a few brews in the local pubs. More and more often the middle class are drinking at home and hiding their alcoholism from the family and peers.

I would like to offer a variety of online alcohol classes that would educate people before their alcoholism sets in. What do you think? Does this trend disturb you?

Dennis Rodman Needs 30 Hour Alcohol Class

I am sure that headline is no shocker. This is especially true for fans of the reality television show “Celebrity Rehab” starring Dr. Drew Pinsky. Rodman spent one eventful season on the show and mouthed off at length how he was no going to get sober.

I am sure his costar Heidi Fleiss, the former Hollywood Madam who continues to battle her own addiction demons, understands completely. As reported in

Dennis Rodman has made headlines throughout his career and his post basketball life by getting arrested and having drunken orgies. He also is well-known from running off at the mouth. Now he may actually be admitting he has a problem. Rodman checked into an undisclosed alcohol rehabilitation center to treat his longtime struggle with alcoholism.

Rodman recently returned to the United States from his latest trip to North Korea where he once again made a total ass of himself with stupid comments.

He later apologized for comments he made in North Korea about a detained American missionary, saying he had been drinking and was under pressure as he organized an exhibition game there. He also sang "Happy Birthday" to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the start of the friendly game.

Rodman won five NBA championships with the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls and was one of the NBA's fiercest rebounders and most colorful personalities. Detroit selected Rodman in the second round of the 1986 draft out of Southeastern Oklahoma. The native of Trenton, N.J., also played for Chicago, San Antonio, the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas. He was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in of 2011.

He stamped his name on "Dennis Rodman -- The original Bad Ass Premium Vodka," late last year. It was in the works before his relations with North Korea, but has taken off since.

But the 52-year-old Rodman has been denounced for not trying to use his influence with Kim to secure the release of Kenneth Bae, an American missionary with health problems who is being held in North Korea on charges of "anti-state" crimes.

He organized a group of retired NBA players to travel to North Korea for that exhibition game. Rodman dedicated the contest to his "best friend" Kim, who along with his wife and other senior officials and their wives watched from a special seating area. The capacity crowd of about 14,000 at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium clapped loudly as Rodman sang a verse from the song.

Rodman had an angry meltdown before the game on CNN, defending his decision to travel to North Korea.

He claims to be embarrassed, saddened and remorseful for the anger and hurt his words have caused. Time will tell just how remorseful he is. Actions certainly speak louder than words. Staying sober will be a good sign as will going out of his way to help others with addiction issues. I hope a 30 hour alcohol awareness class takes him to long-term sobriety.

Police Officer Needs DUI Course

Police officers are human beings too. As such, they are able to err just like the rest of us. Sometimes, their errors can be especially damning. This is one such incident. Making matters worse, is some of his fellow officers were complicit in trying to help him from being caught.

An Arkansas cop drove while drunk and crashed his patrol car, and three fellow officers helped him cover it up. As reported in

Daniel Walker, a Washington County deputy, wrecked his patrol car back in September after drinking at a fellow officer’s house.

Walker sent a text message to the officer hosting the party, urging him to say Walker had been at his house but had not consumed alcohol.

The incident happened at 4:55 a.m. when Walker’s Chevrolet Tahoe patrol vehicle had run off the road and into a fence. Walker contacted an on-duty deputy and said he fell asleep at the wheel.

The cover-up began quickly as Sheriff Tim Helder said that the two officers who investigated the crash knew Walker had been drinking, but never came forward.

The first red flag was the dashcam video that was manually turned off when the investigating officers arrived. Then, Walker was not tested for alcohol in his system until 10 hours after the accident happened, after a county human resources officer said the test needed to be done. The alcohol test showed Walker’s alcohol content to be 0.005 percent, which is a trace amount. After the test, Walker admitted to Hoyt he had been drinking prior to the accident.

All deputies involved in the cover-up and Walker have resigned from the force.

What do you think about this case? Does it make you distrust police? Walker should minimally take a DUI/Alcohol course and perhaps he will consider devoting his life to sobriety and helping others. 

Once Again Super Bowl Promotes Wrong Kind of Alcohol Awareness

Baseball may be America’s pastime, but the Super Bowl is its “grand daddy” athletic event. NASCAR’s Sprint Chase, the World Series, March Madness, Nor the NBA Championships live up to the hype and world-wide exposure and interest that the Super Bowl generates.

When thinking about the Super Bowl what comes to mind? Obviously football and funny commercials. How about alcohol? While many watch the big game to watch the men in uniform beat the snot out of each other, there are millions who tune in for the commercials.

Do you know who the biggest advertiser is on Super Bowl Sunday? If you are reading this blog, and are intelligent, I am sure you have guessed it has to do with booze. The biggest advertiser is Anheuser-Busch. During the last five Super Bowls the brewing giant has spent a whopping $149 million on advertising. That huge wad of cash was spent to purchase 4 minutes and 30 seconds of air time during the big game!

Some of the best-known commercials involve the Budweiser Clydesdales which now even get their own Super Bowl betting prop (how many times will you see the Clydesdale’s hooves) Bud Light is an official NFL sponsor.

I would like to see some of that advertising revenue be used for alcohol awareness classes. Perhaps the networks, if they had any true social concern, would use even 5% of these funds to help keep people from drinking by sponsoring alcohol awareness classes.