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High Profile DUI Flameouts: Warnings To Us All

The recent DUI arrests of a distinguished, high-profile U.S. diplomat and a senior clergyman should serve as sobering reminders that alcohol, for many people, is a dangerous drug. Each year thousands of lives are lost in alcohol-related driving accidents. There are plenty of alcohol fueled celebrity meltdowns as well as alcohol can make a bad idea sound temporarily good — like playing a round of strip billiards in a Las Vegas hotel with some people you’ve just met.  What makes the news less often is the terrible toll alcohol takes in private life: families destroyed, careers wrecked by alcohol-fueled indiscretions, and so on.

Via Meadia doesn’t think a return to Prohibition is a good idea. For many Americans alcohol brightens life without presenting any danger. But there is a significant minority for whom this drug is sheer poison. It’s vital for everyone to know where they fit on the spectrum. Are you someone for whom alcohol presents few risks, or are you one of the people who need to leave it strictly alone?

AA has a questionnaire that can help you figure out where you belong. VM recommends that anybody who has ever wondered even a little bit about whether they have an alcohol problem should take a few minutes to check this self test. If you answer “yes” to four or more of these questions, that’s a good sign that changing your approach to alcohol would make your life richer, happier and perhaps even longer.

Many people we know came to see that alcohol had become a destructive force in their lives and made some changes that opened the door to a happier and more productive lifestyle. Others never quite figured it out and the results were almost never good. This quick test can save a lot of time and tears.

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  • Walter Sobchak

    As you have noted before, computer operated automobiles will solve this problem too.

  • Luke Lea

    What used to be a misdemeanor has become a life wrecker. I’m not entirely happy with that.

  • John Stephens

    Driving an automobile while intoxicated is a negligent homicide waiting to happen. I’d rather wreck one life than two (or more).

  • Luke Lea

    Believe me, John Ste[hens, I understand the other side of the equation. On the other hand I would like to see more data on accident levels vs. blood alcohol levels. Right now there is a legal cutoff. If you are over it it is a serious criminal offense. Even a glass of wine can get you in trouble. I think this issue needs to be looked at more carefully.

  • Luke Lea

    When there are fatal accidents involving alcohol, what is the average blood alcohol level? What is the statistical distribution?

    Likewise for minor fender-benders.

    What is the accident rate for the barely intoxicated compared to the general population?

    Draconian laws are not necessarily the best laws. We need to look at the data.

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