NFL Star Heading to DWI Program

If I tried hard enough I blog about a celebrity in trouble with drugs or alcohol every single day. The fact is celebrities get in trouble a lot, and there are way too many people out there with cameras and video recorders to catch it on tape.

Is there ever a silver lining when a celebrity gets a DUI? The answer is a resounding yes. Here is, hopefully, a little silver lining.

Sounding contrite and determined to atone for his DUI, New Orleans Saints wide receiver Joe Morgan said he is working hard to win a starter's job in training camp while dealing with the fallout from his arrest over Memorial Day weekend.

Morgan is currently enrolled in Stage One of the NFL's substance abuse program and likely will require him to undergo random testing under terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

In the meantime, Morgan is going about his business in training camp, battling Nick Toon, fifth-round draft pick Kenny Stills Jr., special teams captain Courtney Roby and others for the third spot on the depth chart behind veteran wide receivers Marques Colston and Lance Moore.

Morgan is determined to let the incident be a wake-up call that he needs to be smart. Part of being smart is understanding the situation and staying away from alcohol and drugs and DUI behavior.

I hope he continues in his alcohol class and stays focused on his life, his health and his sobriety.

DWI Course: A Good Way To Keep Drunken Drivers Off the Road

Virginia's DUI ignition interlock law is now a little over a year old and AAA says it's working to keep drunk drivers off the roads.

Roughly 8,500 people now have a device installed in their vehicle. As reported in

That's compared to less than 5,000 who did before the law went into effect.

AAA Mid-Atlantic Spokesperson Tammy Gobert says Virginia's law is a standout even on the national scale. It requires everyone who's been convicted of drunk driving -- even first time offenders -- to use one of these.

"Much like a breathalyzer test, they have to blow onto the device before they can even start the vehicle and they have to make sure they blow a .02 or less before they can even go."

Since the law was enacted on July 1, 2012, there's been a 75 percent spike in usage and that number will rise as more DUI cases move through the court system.

There were nearly 8,800 alcohol-related crashes in Virginia in 2012. 229 people died.

There's more work to do but AAA says these devices are keeping potential killers off the road.

Even drivers convicted for the first time are required to use one for six months, serving as a constant reminder of the consequences of getting behind the wheel after having too much to drink.

"Not all states have that requirement but it is definitely a requirement for the state of Virginia," Gobert says.

"Mothers Against Drunk Driving believes Virginia's Ignition Interlock laws will save many lives," says Chris Konschak, of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Virginia Office. "The data released by AAA today showing that the number of people on ignition interlocks today is almost twice the number that were on them last year is a great news."

"People who demonstrated that they were willing to put the lives of anyone they encountered on the roads at risk as well as their own by driving drunk are now required to have an ignition interlock. This is a public safety measure that benefits everyone."

No Sign More Powerful for Need to Take an Online Alcohol Course

There are many signs someone has a problem with alcohol. If you are to the point where you drink and drive regularly, believing you are okay to drive – you have a problem.

If you drive even once with kids in your car while drunk – you have a problem. As reported in

I you think you are doing a good job of hiding your alcohol addiction from your family and kids, think again. Here is a story that shows the father is in dire need of an alcohol class and an intervention.

A 10-year-old boy is recovering at his mother's home from cuts and bruises suffered in a car accident after he called 911 and threatened to jump from the vehicle because his father was driving under the influence.

The father, 49-year-old Owen Gilman of Warwick, R.I., was charged with driving under the influence and assault with a motor vehicle.

My hope is that Gilman sees the evil of his ways. I hope he seeks out a complete alcohol educational program and decides to lead a clean and sober life. If you know someone like Gilman, please encourage them to seek help.

Could Alcohol Class Have Averted Tragedy?

If you do not believe drinking and driving ruin lives you are just flat-out wrong! It always increases the likelihood that a tragedy could occur.

Here is a story that proves my point. As reported in

A Textbook Case

The case of Samuel McCauley also raised questions about the state’s Victims’ Bill of Rights, and whether it gives victims a right to a hearing when a sentence reduction is considered.

McCauley, who was 19 at the time, got drunk, sped the wrong way up an Interstate and struck 72-year-old Eleanor Caperton’s car head-on in July 2011. She died from her injuries, and he was so drunk that he didn’t know how he came to be in a hospital.

McCauley pleaded guilty to charges of reckless homicide and felony DUI involving death, and he was originally sentenced to spend 10 years in jail. In May, McCauley’s jail time to five years, without holding a hearing, after being asked to reconsider by McCauley’s lawyer.

The result was that the victim’s family got another chance to tell the judge about their pain and call for a tougher sentence — but the sentence was not changed.

Many lives ruined by alcohol and the decision to drink and drive. If you or someone you care about has a drinking problem, please seek help. An alcohol class is a good place to start. If you prefer to maintain total anonymity there are online alcohol programs too.

Temecula Man Headed to DUI Class

In yet another story of drinking and driving we find someone who has a definite problem with alcohol. If you have had an alcohol-related incident, you most likely have a problem. It is estimated that for every alcohol-related offense more than 500 go undetected.

Rudolph Barclay, a 48-year-old from Temecula, California apparently did not see a black utility trailer being backed out of property onto a dark street. Missing this huge object has involved him in a major injury crash that shut down a Wildomar road for seven hours. He was arrested for alleged DUI. As reported in

The trailer's lights were apparently not operating, Barclay was hammered at the time of the accident. Also, a man was standing in the middle of the road directing traffic when Barclay's pickup slammed into the trailer.

The man was hit by the trailer and knocked down, striking his head on the pavement and suffering injuries requiring surgery.

Just how high was Barclay’s blood-alcohol concentration at the time of the accident? That has not been released. The only real positive thus far is that no one was seriously injured. Hopefully, Barclay will take a good alcohol class and devote his life to sobriety.

Milwaukee Understands Need for Alcohol Awareness Classes

One of the ways many functional alcoholics receive their first driving under the influence violation (DUI) is from getting stopped at a DUI checkpoint. Milwaukee, the home of beer, has had a long history with DUI and have been studying the issue. As a result, they have very effective checkpoints.

During one Saturday night they arrested seven drivers. The average BAC of these offenders was .13. As reported in

Sometimes drunken drivers have to call the cops on themselves. Such is the case with 47-year-old Rodney L. Morgan. Both Morgan and his 42-year-old male passenger, were both transported to Froedtert Hospital after the vehicle they were in rolled over more than seven times.

Morgan had injuries to his eye socket and rib fractures. His passenger had lacerations.

Not surprising, Morgan has three prior DUI convictions: July 1996, August 2005 and April 2008.

Morgan, who has an extensive criminal history, was charged with domestic violence last year, but in August 2012, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct and his sentence was stayed. He was ordered to maintain absolute sobriety and informed that any violations could result in new charges.

Morgan faces charges of misdemeanor DUI-4th Offense and DUI-Causing Injury in the freeway crash, with up to seven years in prison, if convicted.

I am not certain a complete alcohol awareness course is all that Morgan needs to address his obvious problem with alcohol. I do happen to think an alcohol class is a good place to start.

Utah Teens Need Minor in Possession Class

There is no doubt that the campaign against drinking alcohol and doing drugs is strong in the state of Utah. But people are people, and teens are teens, so there always will exist the need for alcohol classes and minor in possession (MIP) classes.

Utah teenagers drink alcohol less often than their peers from other states, but those who do consume alcohol binge drink more frequently than other teens who drink. As reported in

About 17% of Utah high school seniors surveyed said they had drank alcohol in the past month — less than half national figure of 40%, according to a report from the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health.

But of those Utah seniors who reported drinking, 72% said they had been binge drinking in the past month. That's significantly higher than the national average of 55%.

We can only speculate why kids are binge drinking, but it could be that it has to do with our culture. There might be some push-back in a state known for being very anti-alcohol (due primarily to the influence of the Mormon church). There might be some rebelliousness.

At least 62% of the 2.8 million people living in Utah are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which teaches its members to abstain from drinking alcohol.

Utah's drinking laws are among the strictest in the country. One law forbids restaurant workers from pouring alcohol in front of customers. There are no private liquor stores, and at the 44 state-run liquor stores beer is not refrigerated. It is sold warm, sitting on shelves.

I hope that Utah continues to support online minor in possession classes for underage drinkers and works toward educating teens about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

Denver Broncos Organization May Need an Alcohol Class

With three driving under the influence violations in the last six months it is obvious there is something going on up in Dove Valley (the headquarters of the Denver Broncos).

To be sure, the past few days have been tricky for the Broncos to navigate with both director of pro personnel Tom Heckert and director of player personnel Matt Russell arrested for DUI. As reported in

But when observers from other teams look at what Denver, and the league as a whole, went through as a result of the high-profile nature of the incidents, there is indeed something to be gained.

The Broncos have suspended Heckert for a month without pay, and Russell indefinitely, yet they still make excuses that the pressure of the job may be the culprit. The organization seems more bent on punishing its employees than solving the problem of alcohol abuse.

Both Russell and Heckert will go through an evaluation and get treatment as needed, as any player would, and the opportunities for education that players get are there. Most of the programs -- many clubs run a SafeRides-like program -- that are there for the guys who perform between the lines are there for those outside of them, too.

Should these two be held to a higher standard? The standard itself should be a matter of common sense, and not one that needs to be written in a memo.

Once again I ask Mr. Elway to implement mandatory online alcohol classes for all employees of the organization. We would be there to help.

Denver Broncos Must Implement Online DUI Course

I have long espoused the need for mandatory alcohol and DUI educational programs for organizations where alcohol seems to be an issue. The Denver Broncos football team, a proud member of the National Football League, needs to implement mandatory online alcohol education and DUI courses for both players and front office personnel immediately.

Obviously there is something wrong with the air in the Mile High City. Not only have residents legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, but their sports teams seem to suffer from an abnormally high rate of DUI behavior. In the last six months Colorado Rockies legend Todd Helton was busted for DUI after driving to the store to buy chewing tobacco and lottery tickets. As reported in

More recently two prominent members of the Donkeys’ front office staff have been busted for DUI too.

Denver Broncos president Joe Ellis hit "send" on an email the likes of which plenty of other executives have surely had to distribute.

Maybe they've stemmed from a couple of incidents around holiday parties for the insurance company boss, or a few things that went down over Memorial Day weekend for the hedge-fund manager, or some embarrassing episode at a convention for the sales team.

The difference here, in the case of the missive sent by Ellis, is twofold. First, because of the high-profile nature of the team and the league in which it plays, Ellis can't quietly discipline his employees, make an example for everyone else, and move on. And second, no matter how he decided to take action -- in this case, it meant suspending director of pro personnel Tom Heckert for a month and director of player Matt Russell indefinitely after their arrests for driving under the influence -- there was going to be a segment of his employees watching closely for double standards.

I certainly believe John Elway should implement mandatory online alcohol classes for all players and employees of the Broncos organization.

Indian Teens Could USE Online MIP Class

There is no doubt the United States has a problem with underage consumption of fermented beverages. At least our bars and restaurants do their best not to serve minors. Have you heard about the problem they are having in India?

The Blame Game As reported in

Parents are at their wits end in India since the police and pub owners refuse to stop pubs from hosting minors. However, the police maintain that they have been doing their job, and that if kids enter a pub, it is the parents who are failing to stop them.

The club didn't verify the age of the entrants and was serving them. Initially, when the parents came, they were quarreling with the police and asking why their children were arrested. But after seeing the condition of their kids, they realized that their children were at fault. Many kids had come to the pub after telling their parents that they were going out for tuition classes or a movie. The checking of pubs is in place. It's the parents who have to keep tabs on their kids.

Opinion in the country is divided on who should take the blame if an underage teen ends up at a pub or an illegal hookah joint. In a city like Gurgaon, whose malls are lined with pubs, how do you stop a teenager from walking into one as easily as they would enter a store or a cafeteria? Gurgaon pubs don't fear police and let kids in.

How scary would it be if you could not leave your teenager at the mall because you were worried they would get drunk in a pub or stoned in a hookah joint? India needs to do some serious work to curb this alarming trend. What do you think?