Archive for April, 2009

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

April 15, 2009

When I read that April was Alcohol Awareness Month, my first thought was, “Do we still need an entire month dedicated to the dangers associated with alcohol?” then immediately my next thought was “YES, WE DO!” And not just an average ole yes, but an emphatic YES! Actually, I think a better question is, “Given that society has known about the dangers of alcohol for what, 100 years or so now (wasn’t that the driving force behind prohibition?), why is it still necessary to have a whole month dedicated to dangers of alcohol – especially the combination of alcohol and driving?”

On my last entry, I blogged about how if anyone should have gotten the message about the dangers of driving impaired a coroner certainly should have. Unfortunately, there was at least one coroner in Indiana that didn’t quite get that message and my question was if HE hasn’t gotten the message, is there any hope for the rest of society. My answer to that is, “I have serious, and I do mean serious, doubts.”

Case in point:
More than 25 years ago, when I took my son to sign him up for kindergarten, I was told I needed to first sign up him for Traffic Safety School. Traffic Safety School consisted of children riding big wheels through a maze set up around the playground while instructors (mostly police officers) told the students about different dangers along the way and how to stay safe. When one of the dangers they mentioned was drunk driving, I thought to myself, “Aren’t we starting just a tad bit young here?” Twenty-five years ago we were just starting to hear the message “driving impaired kills” and fortunately a there were a quite a few who listened. Unfortunately, we are discovering everyday there are just as many who haven’t.

Now as a grandmother who everyday receives numerous Google alerts that coroners, police officers, firemen and paramedics who see firsthand the deadly consequences of impaired driving are they themselves being arrested for driving under the influence, I am thinking, “Are we starting early enough?” and “ Is there any real hope we will ever eradicate this problem?” Because quite honestly, even after more than a decade of being bombarded with a blizzard of information there is just too many who have missed the point behind the memos, bulletins, signs, billboards, bodies alongside the road, and even the autopsies.

So, my question now is, “What can be done that hasn’t already been done to get this message to finally sink in?