alcohol related accidents

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Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS)

October 27, 2015

Every year in the U.S., drunk driving claims more than 10,000 lives and costs approximately $199 billion. Move over MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), there’s a new deterrent to driving while impaired with an easy to remember acronym: DADSS. The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, or DADSS, program is a collaborative research partnership between […]

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The Verdict Is In

October 23, 2015

No alcohol during pregnancy — ever.  That’s the word from U.S. pediatricians. The American Academy of Pediatrics has put out a clear message: Don’t do it.  Ever.  At all.  Not even a tiny bit. No amount of alcohol should be considered safe to drink during any trimester of pregnancy. The group released a report Monday […]

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The Saturation Patrol Problem

October 10, 2015

Did you know that it is illegal for law enforcement to have sobriety checkpoints in Wisconsin? That is just the tip of the insanity iceberg when it comes to Wisconsin’s lenient laws on drinking and driving.

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A Kennedy Comes Out

October 6, 2015

One of the most interesting and worthwhile interviews about addiction I have seen on 60 Minutes in some time. One time congressman and son of Ted Kennedy, Patrick opens up about how his problem and our problem are really the whole nation’s problem. Patrick Kennedy on 60 Minutes. View More: Newsmakers News|60 Minutes News|Live News|More […]

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September 28, 2015

Maybe I should have saved this one for Halloween. Posted in 2012, it has over 6 million views and most of the 2000 comments go something like these: and the rest are similar –

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Secondhand Alcohol Harm

August 31, 2015

I often see PSA’s on the damage caused by alcohol to the user; this one is about its effect on others. IAS – Alcohol’s Harm to Others from The Institute of Alcohol Studies on Vimeo. The numbers here in America are much larger. Our friend Lisa, over at Breaking The Cycles has a great post […]

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Borkenstein’s Monster

December 31, 2008

Borkenstein’s creature at The Discovering AlcoholicExactly eighty years ago tonight Indiana police introduced unsuspecting New Year’s revelers to the Drunkometer, the first utilitarian device that was used to calculate the blood alcohol level of drivers by breath testing. But it wasn’t until 1954 when Robert Borkenstein developed the Breathalyzer, a more stable and portable device, that highway police were able to use the alcohol breath test as a routine procedure to accurately distinguish intoxicated drivers as “over the limit”.

As a practicing alcoholic I wasn’t scared of drunk driving or the possible deadly repercussions, but I did fear the breathalyzer and the loss of freedom it represented. In recovery and as an advocate I am all too aware of dangers of DUI and routinely deal with the aftermath, now I see the Breathalyzer as a benevolent tool. Much like Dr. Frankenstein’s creature, many see only the monster while those that look deeper will see an invention that reflects the struggle of man dealing with the vagaries of modern advances.

So on this New Year’s regardless if you view the Breathalyzer as good or evil; just be sure to stay safe and make wise decisions. If you drink designate a sober driver, because Borkenstein’s monster will definitively be haunting the roads tonight.

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Russian Military Needs a Breathalyzer

June 13, 2008

Keeping in mind that the driver of this Russian tank (actually it’s an anti-air armored vehicle) stumbled drunk into a store and bought two bottles of vodka and then proceeded to run over a couple of houses, listen to what the officer says at the end of this clip.

The driver was absolutely sober, because he was going to military exercises.

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Beverages of Mass Destruction Pt III

May 28, 2008

So now we get to the last and most difficult installment (because I promised solutions) of my series on alcohol and violence. If you haven’t done so I suggest going back and reading part one and two. Laying a little groundwork first, have you ever noticed how there are particular subjects our media will almost fall over itself to mention in a negative light? Here’s a good example that doesn’t just border absurdity, as you can see it actually crashes across the border.

EL PASO, Texas — Two young Mexican children were killed, and their mother and two sisters were hospitalized Friday after a sport utility vehicle ran over a family while speeding toward a border crossing, authorities said. The SUV had a bloodied windshield and was dragging a baby stroller underneath when it stopped at a border checkpoint in the border town of El Paso, said Roger Maier, spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol ~ Fox News

Not until the fourth paragraph of this story are we informed that this bloodthirsty SUV even has a driver, much less that he was probably DRUNK!

Just do a Google search on “SUV Kills” and it’s hard not to notice that the media has decided that SUV=Bad. I wish the same thing could be said for the way they report the violence in which alcohol plays a factor. According to a University of Ohio study, even though alcohol is a contributing factor in at least a third of most accidents and crimes its complicity is vastly under-reported.

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Beverages of Mass Destruction Pt II

May 27, 2008

My favorite Sci-fi blog io9 has provided the starting point for the second part in my series on the relationship between alcohol and violence entitled Beverages of Mass Destruction. Citing a Canadian study, How to Build a Violent World in One Easy Step suggests the quickest way to create a dystopia is to just add alcohol.

For every 1,000 litres of alcohol sold in stores (there were no stats for what got sold in bars), numbers of violent assaults and deaths nearby increased by 13%. For young people, the risk increased by 21%. One could easily imagine a dystopian future where cities zone certain “undesirable” areas for more liquor stores, as a way of trimming down or crippling the population there. ~ io9

The study is incomplete, but does it really take a bunch of scientists to figure out that an increase in public alcohol consumption will be followed by an increase in violence? I guess what is more enlightening are those that predictably come to the defense of alcohol in the comments section.

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Beverages of Mass Destruction Part I

May 26, 2008

Unfortunately long before they become an adult, most people have a personal and visceral understanding of the definition of a “mean drunk”.

With alcohol a factor in at least a third (reported) of all violent crime in the US and even more in some countries, one need not be a statistician to be able to correlate the obvious association between alcohol and violence. The same beer goggles that make us indiscriminately promiscuous can also lower the civilized inhibition that usually prevents aggressive and violent impulsive behavior.

I don’t think this fact comes as a surprise to the public, politicians, and scientists, but in today’s world of protest and mobilization the lackadaisical response to this violence is enigmatic.

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Not an Alcoholic, just Stupid

May 23, 2008

I long ago lost any sensitivity about being an alcoholic or speaking to others of my disease, but this is far from common as this and substance abuse are usually deeply hidden by families “in the closet”.

About the only time I am personally reminded of the stigma that some associate with addictions is if I embarrass my wife by bringing up the subject in what she considers an inappropriate environment. Sorry honey. It’s kind of hard not to let the A word slip in mixed company every now and then considering my daily updates of The Discovering Alcoholic.

This week however, I was reminded once again of how the rest of the world still views those who have a “problem” with alcohol.

ATLANTA — Alcohol was a factor in the death of a 25-year-old man who fell down a stairwell at Turner Field during the game between the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets. Justin Hayes of Cumming, Ga., suffered head injuries Wednesday night and was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. He fell about 150 feet from the club level to the landing on the field level during the eighth inning. ~ Fox News

Actually it wasn’t this story; instead it was the response of the poor boy’s parents to the alcohol-related portion of this story that caught my attention.

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