Politics and Alcohol, a volatile mix
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Big Brother Makes Big Trouble for Big Beers in Tacoma
December 14, 2001 (USA Today) - Tacoma, Washington - The state Liquor Board has given the city permission to ban high-alcohol drinks in areas with health and crime problems. Over the past year, residents of these neighborhoods have waged a high-profile campaign against public drunkenness. An earlier voluntary ban on fortified beer and wine failed when less than half of stores selling liquor signed on.
Read Our Lips: "Nooo Newww Taxxxesss"
October 27, 2001 (USA Today) - Pittsburg, Pennsylvania - Pittsburg's chief budget analyst said the city can generate more revenue by imposing new taxes on amusement and alcohol. Council budget director Scot Kunka said that a 10% pouring tax on alcohol served at bars, restaurants and sporting venues might raise $10 million. Kunka said that the city may also want to consider doubling its amusement tax from 5% to 10%. Last year, the city collected $7.7 million from the amusement tax.
Drinkers Exempt from Clean Air Ordinance
October 26, 2001 (USA Today) - Herber Springs, Arkansas - The state Health Board approved a restaurant smoking ban. It rejected claims by owners that it will hurt their businesses, which are already suffering in the slowing economy. The ban exempts bars, bowling alleys and restaurant patios. It needs approval from Gov. Huckabee before taking effect.
Fee for Non-service - Just Part of Doing Business in Little Rock
October 17, 2001 (USA Today) - North Little Rock, Arkansas - Some business owners are upset about a local ordinance that requires establishments that serve alcohol and allow dancing to pay a $1,000-a-year fee. The co-owners of a new riverboat restaurant said the tax is an undue hardship on top of other start-up expenses. The city's revenue collections officer says it's just part of doing business.
Critical Infrastructure Threatened by Drunks
October 8, 2001 (USA Today) - Fairbanks, Alaska - Crews were working Sunday to repair the trans-Alaska pipeline, a day after placing a clamp over a bullet hole that spewed 285,600 gallons of oil into the wilderness in 3 days. Crews also began cleaning up 203 acres of trees, brush and tundra 75 miles north of Fairbanks. Regulators said there was no evidence that wildlife has been affected. Daniel Lewis, 37, is accused of shooting the pipeline with a hunting rifle Thursday. Officials said he had been drinking. Gov. Tony Knowles called the incident a "hare-brained act of violence." Charges against Lewis include assault, weapons misconduct and driving while intoxicated. He was being held in Fairbanks on $1.5 million bail. Knowles said a security review of the 800-mile pipeline will be undertaken.
Enlightened Alabama Government Banishes Student Bars
October 2, 2001 (USA Today) - Auburn, Alabama - Auburn University students may soon have to travel away from downtown to find their watering holes. The Auburn City Council is considering an ordinance that would force bars in the downtown, which borders the university, to move to an entertainment zone. Mayor Bill Ham says the bars aren't compatible with other downtown businesses.
Utah ABC Knows its Target Audience
September 28, 2001 (USA Today) - Salt Lake City, Utah - The state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission is considering requiring anti-drunk driving advertisements in liquor stores and on the brown bags that hold liquor.
Tavern Owners Say "Let them Breath Smoke"
September 19, 2001 (USA Today) - Muncie, Indiana - Tavern owners are threatening legal action to block a proposed ordinance that would ban smoking in public buildings in Delaware County. Health Department officials are considering a proposal that would prohibit smoking in public places frequented by children under 18. But they have since asked attorneys to rewrite the ordinance banning smoking in any indoor setting except private residences.
Big Business Wines about Discrimination
September 19, 2001 (USA Today) - Montgomery, Alabama - Legislators are faced with another financial crisis following a judge's ruling that Alabama's wine tax is illegal. The ruling said the wine tax is unconstitutional because it gives a tax break to small wineries. Legislators say that could cost the general fund budget $7 million, which is used for prisons and troopers.
Experience NOT Desired
August 27, 2001 (USA Today) - Louisa, Kentucky - A teenager's role in a treatment program for drunken drivers has sparked a state investigation in Lawrence County. Joshua Francis, 16, was killed in a traffic accident Aug. 4. State troopers were told that the boy was on his way to conduct a class for convicted drunken drivers, even though he lacked the qualifications. In Kentucky, programs must be taught by certified instructors.
California Dancers Feel the Power over ABC Bureaucrats
August 23, 2001 (USA Today) - Sacramento, California - The California Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board ruled that topless dancers have a constitutional right to touch themselves while performing, as long as it isn't ruled lewd or obscene. The panel decided that a rule prohibiting topless dancers from touching, caressing and fondling their own bodies is an infringement of the constitutional right to freedom of expression. The ruling means that topless dancers in any California bar can now fondle and caress themselves without fear of having the bar's alcohol license revoked.
Federal .08% Extortion Payoffs Continue
August 23, 2001 (USA Today) - Indianapolis, Indiana - The federal government has given Indiana a $2.9 million grant in recognition of the state lowering its drunken driving standard. Gov. O'Bannon signed legislation last May that lowered the standard blood-alcohol level from 0.10% to 0.08%. The grant can be used for highway safety of highway infrastructure projects.
1st Amendment Reaches Utah
August 8, 2001 (USA Today) - Salt Lake City, Utah - Bars, taverns and restaurants in Utah can now advertise liquor on billboards, windows or menus. The new rules will be in effect for a 120-day public comment period. The changes reflect last month's decision by a federal appeals court that called Utah's alcohol ad bans "irrational" because they applied to liquor and wine but not beer.
Causing Injuries, not .08% BAC, Equals Violence
August 8, 2001 (USA Today) - Trenton, New Jersey - The Supreme Court said that drunken drivers who cause accidents in which others are injured or killed won't be eligible for early release on probation. The court said that New Jersey's no-early release law means the drunken driving offenders will be treated as violent criminals when it comes to parole.
21st Amendment Consumer-Abuse Continues in Iowa
August 2, 2001 (USA Today) - Des Moines, Iowa - The city council approved a law making it illegal for Iowa City bars and restaurants to offer drink specials. The measure was created to curb overindulgence by young drinkers. It gives the city broader power to suspend or revoke liquor licenses.
(Breath) Test Anxiety Fatal in Missouri
August 2, 2001 (USA Today) - Warsaw, Missouri - A jury ruled that a Warsaw police officer was not acting in self-defense when he fatally shot a man who fled from a court hearing. The state's attorney general must now decide whether Officer John Platt will be charged for shooting Randy Stroble. Authorities said Stroble ran out of the courthouse after being ordered to take a blood-alcohol test.
Mr. Ranger Off the Wagon
July 30, 2001 (USA Today) - Minden, Louisiana - The no-alcohol rule at Caney Lakes Recreational Area is on its way out. The policy will be repealed because it conflicts with state and local laws that allow alcohol consumption, Forest Service officials said. the chief ranger said the no-alcohol policy was adopted after a string of alcohol-related disturbances, but rangers seldom enforced it.
Court Revives Concept of Personal Responsibility
July 25, 2001 (USA Today) - Madison, Wisconsin - A company that held a party at which a driver became intoxicated cannot be held liable for the death of a woman killed in a head-on collision with the driver's car, a state appeals court ruled. However, the court allowed the man whose wife was killed to sue another company employee, who had agreed to drive the drunken driver home but didn't.
Utah Solves Drunken Driving Problem with .08 Law - NOT!
July 23, 2001 (USA Today) - Salt Lake City, Utah - About 5% of Utah drivers have been arrested for drunken driving and a quarter of those are repeat offenders, according to a state study. The Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, which reviewed records from the past 10 years, found that 143,514 offenses were reported by 102,528 separate individuals in Utah. The data showed that 1,400 offenders had five or more DUI convictions.
Virginia Penal System Kills Drunken Driver
June 29, 2001 (USA Today) - Virginia Beach, Virginia - An inmate who died in jail while serving a 14-month sentence for drunken driving tried to get emergency medical help six hours before her death, The Virginian-Pilot reported. But it wasn't until minutes before Kathy Kearns died April 26 that a sheriff's deputy called 911, the newspaper reported. Kearns had hepatitis C and advanced liver disease.
If it Ain't Scottish, it's *!#!
May 25, 2001 (USA Today) - Manchester, England - British police are treating a haggis attack as a hate crime. Manchester police said the Scottish dish of ground offal and oatmeal that is boiled in a sheep's intestine was thrown through the front window at the home of Christine MacKinnon, 45, a Glascow, Scotland, native who has lived in England for 35 years. "This harassment from my neighbors has been going on for two years," the paper quoted her saying. "I've had people screaming in my house telling me to go back to Scotland."
Scent of Alcohol not Probable Cause of a Crime
May 25, 2001 (USA Today) - Little Rock, Arkansas - In a setback for a crackdown on meth labs, the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the smell of a legal substance isn't probable cause to conduct a search. Evidence seized using a warrant issued primarily because a police officer detected the odor of denatured alcohol can't be used at trial, the court said. Denatured alcohol can be used in the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine.
OUI - The New Scarlet Letters
May 24, 2001 (USA Today) - Boston, Massachusetts - Lawmakers plan to debate a proposal today that would require drivers twice convicted of drunken driving to have an OUI-2 license plate. The proposal has been called a Scarlet Letter for convicted drunken drivers. If it were to pass, people convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol at least twice within 10 years would be required to have the special tag. OUI stands for operating under the influence.
Wisconsin Tax-and-Spend Politicians Target Beer Next
May 21, 2001 (USA Today) - Madison, Wisconsin - Some lawmakers want to raise taxes on cigarettes and alcohol to help bridge a $760 million shortfall in the next state budget. State Senate President Fred Risser is ready to introduce a bill that would raise the 59-cent-per-pack cigarette tax by $1, which would make Wisconsin's cigarette tax the highest in the USA. Risser also said he would be willing to raise the beer tax.
MADD Endorses .08% While Member Kills at .20 - Without Jail Time!
May 14, 2001 (USA Today) - A member of Mothers Against Drunk Driving who caused a fatal accident while drunk was sentenced to probation and community service. Dawn Chapman, 40, was sentenced to 36 months probation and 300 hours community service for automobile homicide in the death of Anna Locker, 53. Chapman's blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit when she ran a red light and plowed into Locker's car on Nov. 2, officials said.
U.S. DWI Laws Reach New Low under Federal Extortion Pressure
May 11, 2001 (USA Today) - Twenty-five states have a 0.08 blood-alcohol standard in DWI cases. Twenty-four states have a standard of 0.10. Massachusetts has no standard, per se, but makes arrests based on police officers' judgements.
State Overrules City on Right to Stick-it to Beer Consumers
May 3, 2001 (USA Today) - State Attorney General Bill Pryor rejected a proposed tax to fund a 70,000-seat domed stadium in Birmingham. It would put a 3% tax on alcoholic beverages sold in restaurants in Jefferson County. Pryor said Alabama law gives the state the exclusive right to issue such a tax.
Dance Clubs Experience Discrimination like Bars Do
May 3, 2001 (USA Today) - The Athens-Clarke County Commission approved an ordinance requiring entertainment establishments to close by 2:45 a.m. Clubs with alcohol licenses have been required to close at that hour since 1998. But the new ordinance includes clubs that don't serve alcohol. Opponents say the ordnance was aimed at Insomnia, a dance club that's open until 5 a.m.
Australians Rescue Threatened Beer
April 21, 2001 (PRAVDA.RU) - Sydney's beer lovers have received an extraordinary gift. A lorry carrying 24,000 bottles, filled with the foamy drink, lost a wheel and plunged into the Twead River. Of course, the site was besieged by volunteer rescuers. The driver and his lorry were successfully raised, but half of the bottles was staying in the river. So, the second phase of the "rescue operation" started. People, using an aqualung or unaided, embarked on heavy diving. One lucky diver is said to have "rescued" 400 bottles. Massive diving started because the owner did not care to mount the guard at the site of the crash, police say. And yet, under the given circumstances, nobody is going to persecute the "rescuers," although such a rescuing is normally qualified as a theft.
Japanese Binge Drinking Up - Who can MADD Blame?
April 12, 2001 (Anaova) - The arrival of spring cherry blossoms in Japan is also bringing concern over binge drinking. Tokyo Fire department reports that 255 blossom revellers needed hospital treatment for acute alcohol poisoning last year. Experts say the Japanese are susceptible to peer-pressured drinking - known as 'ikki'. Shinji Shimuzu, of the National Institute for Mental Health, said: "In a society which places weight on conformity, the pressure behind forced drinking is particularly strong." Since 1983, 71 people have died after excessive drinking. The Liaison Council to Prevent Ikki says many more cases go unreported. Medical expert Professor Shoji Harada feels the pressure has to stop as half of all Japanese lack sufficient enzymes to handle much alcohol. Beer, sake, shochu (grain spirit) and mizuwari (whiskey with water) are the most popular drinks, reports The Asahi Shimbun. "Japanese fail to realise that alcohol can be a deadly weapon," said the mother of 20-year-old Takehiro Hiraga, who died in 1996 after an ikki binge.
Diageo Strikes Out with Guinness Employees
April 12, 2001 (Ananova) - The strike that halted Guinness production in Ireland for the first time in more than 25 years has been suspended. The move comes after day-long talks involving the Irish Labour Relations Commission. The strike was called off after brewery managers opted to defer the closure of a packaging plant at Dundalk, Co Louth, that had been due at the end of the month, with the loss of nearly 150 jobs. The closure issue will now be discussed at further talks in Dublin next week. After the stoppage suspension agreement, five of the six trade unions at Guinness ordered the lifting of pickets at premises in Dundalk, Dublin, Waterford and Kilkenny. The opening day of the strike had earlier led to a fall in the price of shares in the Diageo group, the owners of Guinness.
British Pilots Just Say NO to Drink Testing
April 11, 2001 (Ananova) - Britain's pilots believe peer pressure is more likely to stop colleagues flying under the influence of drink and drugs than random tests. There have been calls for random drugs and alcohol tests following claims that a few pilots are taking off while unfit to fly. But the British Air Line Pilots' Association says the problem is best handled by responsible members confronting reckless colleagues. The association, which represents nearly 8,000 flight crew, says this is the best way of rooting out the tiny number of pilots who place passengers' lives in danger. Under the Peer Pressure system, flight crew members challenge colleagues who have a drink or drugs problem and urge them to seek help from an airline team of pilots and managers. The airline will than agree that pilots are grounded until they have proved themselves fit to return to duty. Captain Rick Brennan, a BA pilot for 32 years and chairman of the association, says: Making the decision to confront a colleague is tough. But if you're a real friend, you'll do it. "If airlines co-operate, we can deal with what are still very rare cases of pilots who misuse drink or drugs." Mr Brennan adds that the association wants the Peer Pressure system to be adopted by all UK airlines and adds: "We will be putting the plan to flight crew organisations across the world." A Peer Intervention Programme has been running in the US alongside random testing, which was introduced 10 years ago. During that time, out of 80,000 pilots, random testing has revealed only 80 over drink limits. Yet with Peer Pressure, 550 pilots have been named, helped and returned to work.
Beer Bellies a Future Boon Medical Science
April 10, 2001 (Anaova) - Scientists are claiming couch potatoes' spare tyres could contain the ingredients for a medical revolution. They claim cells found in human fat can be made to grow into muscle cells in the laboratory. Working with litres of the greasy yellow substance sucked from patients' hips and thighs, the researchers also turned fat into healthy cartilage and bone cells. Now Marc Hedrick and Adam Katz, of the University of California-Los Angeles and the University of Pittsburgh respectively, are planning to create a start-up company to exploit their discovery. They believe beer bellies may gain respect as a biological building material, with uses ranging from wrinkle filling and breast augmentation to major bone, muscle and joint repairs. Mr Hedrick told the The Washington Post: "We usually think about fat as sort of worthless, something that everyone just wants to get rid of and throw away. "This work makes us think much differently about fat tissue." Most other scientists working with cell therapy have been hampered by ethical concerns over the use of foetal cells, which were previously thought to be one of the few types of cell capable of turning into different cells.
Legal Loophole Allows Secondhand Smoke Abuse of Drinkers
April 6, 2001 (Ananova) - A British ex-pat has found a novel way of getting round no-smoking rules at his Canadian restaurant - he makes customers partners in the business. Chris Bradley had his Brit Restaurant shut down for 30 days last month when health inspectors caught two customers smoking. However, Mr Bradley has discovered a loophole which allows people to smoke in a public place if they are "partners to a partnership". He has now asked 400 of his regulars, mainly other British ex-pats, to become partners in his newly reopened restaurant and has set up the Brit Hospitality Group. Mr Bradley views the move by North Vancouver city council to temporarily close his business as an assault on British cultural mores, citing the example of the smoking Queen Mother, reports the Vancouver Sun. He said: "We are a British restaurant. We have lots of British customers and some are social smokers and we don't want to have to force them to go out in the rain."
Creative Legal Fiction Increases Threat to Liberty
April 5, 2001 (USA Today) - Phoenix, Arizona - Anyone caught driving with a blood-alcohol level of at least .15 will now be subject to the state's tougher penalties for driving under the extreme influence. Gov. Hull signed a bill, which went into effect immediately, lowering the extreme DUI limit from .18. Extreme DUI carries a minimum penalty of 10 days in jail, compared to one day for regular DUI. About 10% of the 34,000 people arrested last year on various drunken driving offenses were charged with extreme DUI.
Drinkers Give Clear Mandate
April 5, 2001 (USA Today) - McBaine, Missouri - This central Missouri town has approved liquor by the drink, by a vote of 2-0. The municipality of 17 people has just one business: a bar. McBaine's board of trustees voted 5-0 to put the question on the ballot at the request of the bar's owner.
Solace Found in Beer, not Pizza
April 5, 2001 (USA Today) - East Helena, Montana - Local bars were more popular that the pizza-and-pop party given by Asarco to ease the final day of operations at its smelter. The plant has suspended operations for an indefinite period, expected to be at least a year. Local pizzerias supplied 40 pies for the 238 hourly employees, but many workers headed to local taverns.
COPS in Atlanta, Fox Producer in Jail
April 4, 2001 (USA Today) - Atlanta, Georgia - A funny thing happened on the way to the set of COPS Monday night: The show's producer was arrested. Murray Jordan, 64, was charged with drunken driving. Jordan had been driving to meet with Atlanta police to set up filming an episode of Fox's reality series. Police say his blood-alcohol level was .136%; the legal limit in Georgia is .08.
Natural Market Forces Exist even in Utah
April 4, 2001 (USA Today) - Springville, Utah - Merchants say they are selling a lot of beer since Springville became the only community in Utah County to allow Sunday beer sales. The City Council has logged just one complaint since the ordinance passed last month. Last week, a convenience store near I-15 took in about $3,000, compared to $2,150 the Sunday before beer sales became legal. Beer accounted for half the day's revenue, the owner said.
Southern Fanatics now Harass Wine Tasters
March 30, 2001 (USA Today) - Columbia, South Carolina - A bill headed to the Senate floor would make it illegal for wine shops to have more than 12 wine tastings a year. Proponents say wine tastings encourage too much drinking. The wine industry disagrees. Tastings aren't about getting people to drink more but rather to drink well, distributor Jean-Pierre Chamber said.
Smoker Demand Their Right to Pollute
March 25, 2001 (Arizona Republic) - New York, New York - Waving a 10-foot-long cigarette above their heads, smokers marched to City Hall on Saturday to protest a proposed law that would ban smoking in the city's 21,000 restaurants. The smokers were joined by restaurant owners, waiters and bartenders in protesting the bill, which is expected to be sent to the City Council in May or June.
Wine, it's What's for Dinner
March 24, 2001 (Arizona Republic) - St. Paul, Minnesota - Hundreds of citizens crammed into a hearing room Friday to hear testimony on whether grocery stores should be able to sell wine, a proposal that cleared its first legislative hurdle. The House Liquor Subcommittee voted 5-2 in favor of the legislation being pushed by the Minnesota Grocers Association. The proposal would allow wine to be sold in grocery stores over 10,000 square feet in the seven-county Twin Cities area. The bill will go before the House Commerce Committee on Thursday.
Georgia Takes Two Steps Backward
March 25, 2001 (Arizona Republic) - Atlanta, Georgia - The City Council approved a law that would end the afterhours reign of some of the city's 24-hour nightclubs. Affected clubs would have to stop serving alcohol when other bars and restaurants do, no later than 4 a.m.
Earth to INS: DWI Not a Crime of Violence
March 6, 2001 (AP) San Antonio, TX - A federal appeals court has ruled that the Immigration and Naturalization service cannot deport immigrants convicted of driving while intoxicated. The United States court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled on Thursday in New Orleans that felony D.W.I. convictions in Texas, which are generally third drunken-driving convictions, are not crimes of violence like assault, rape and murder. That was the basis that the immigration agency used to deport many immigrants in recent years.
Police Assault Motorist at Checkpoint - Alcohol-Related Violence?
March 2001 - USA Today - The police commission has fired an officer who shot out two tires of a car evading a sobriety checkpoint. Shafiq Abdus-Sabur, 34, said he fired because he believed another officer standing in front of the car was in danger. In 1999, Abdus-Sabur received a three-day suspension after giving a gun to his brother, a felon. The gun was later used in a fatal shooting.
Get Smarter, Have a Beer
March 1 2001 - Popular Mechanics - DRINKERS DO BETTER ON IQ TESTS: In the course of studying how brain function changes with age, a Japanese scientist has made a discovery that is truly worth toasting. Men and women who define themselves as being "moderate" alcohol drinkers scored an average of 3.3 and 2.2 points (respectively) higher than teetotalers on an IQ test. The results were reported by Hiroshi Shimokata of the National Institute for Longevity Sciences, who studied 2000 people between ages 40 and 79. Shimokata said he was unable to explain why drinking about 18 ounces of beer or wine daily-it didn't matter which-causes the improvement. He suspects it has something to do with a class of chemicals called polyphenols. Medical studies have shown these compounds widen arteries, thereby increasing blood flow.
Wine Kills! - Another Alcohol-related Fatality
March 1 2001 (Urban Tulsa Weekly) Lodi, California - A 31-year-old winery worker drowned when he slipped and fell into a large vat of Cabernet Sauvignon
Big Brother to Track Kegs
March 1 2001 (USA Today) Topeka, Kansas - A Senate committee delayed voting on a bill requiring liquor stores to keep track of who purchases beer kegs. Committee members wondered whether cities and counties could exempt themselves from the bill's provisions and how it would be enforced. The bill is designed to discourage adults from buying beer kegs for parties where underage drinkers are present
Military Life Drives Him to Drink
February 16 2001 (Ananova) An ex-soldier who drank too much cheap beer while in the Army has been awarded a disability pension. Frederick Somerfield, 79, was awarded the pension after arguing that his heart was damaged by excessive drinking. The Australian says he picked up the habit during World War II. He served in New Guinea as an ambulance officer during fighting against the Japanese. Mr Somerfield, a retired lawyer, told an appeals tribunal: "It was not until I entered the Army in 1941 that I commenced the consumption of alcohol on a regular basis due to its availability, low cost and the necessity of mateship (friendship) and subsequently the stress of overseas service. His request for a pension was initially turned down by the Department of Veterans Affairs. He appealed to the government's Administrative Appeals Tribunal, which ruled that he drank heavily during his military service and his heart condition was "war caused". He said that then soldiers couldn't get beer, they drank "jungle juice" - a potent blend of dried fruit juice and surgical spirit.
Dry Homecoming in Rhode Island
February 28 2001 (USA Today) South Kingstown, Rhode Island - The University of Rhode Island is considering banning alcohol from tailgating parties during its fall homecoming weekend. URI banned alcohol at other campus functions five years ago. Homecoming has been marred in past years by public drunkenness and accidents. During Homecoming 2000, 10 people sought treatment for alcohol or drug poisoning.
Warrantless Searches for Trace Alcohol in Indiana
February 12 2001 (USA Today) Indianapolis, Indiana - The Indiana Supreme Court will review whether roadblocks to catch drunken drivers are allowed under the state constitution. The state's Court of Appeals stopped the checkpoints in November, saying they violated Indian's constitution. The Supreme Court's decision to review the ruling means police could resume the checkpoints, but the Marion County Prosecutor recommended police wait.
Beer is Healthy - Read On
December 19, 2000 - Los Angles Daily News - Beer Slows Aging (http://188.8.131.52/contWriter/yhdalcohol/2000/12/20/medic/6240-0150-pat_nytimes.html)
December 18, 2000 - BBC News - Beer Keeps Cataracts Away (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_1072000/1072147.stm)(http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/12/001218073252.htm)
April 15, 2000 - BBC News - Moderate Drinking Protects Bones (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_713000/713698.stm)
November 18, 1999 - Associated Press/Kentucy.com Health - Weekly Beer Cuts Stroke Risk (http://www.kentuckyconnect.com/health/stories/men/1118stroke.htm)
September 1997 - Hebrew University - Coronary Atherosclerosis Down when Beer Up - (http://www.lef.org/protocols/abstracts/abstr-015.html#6)
Remnants of Prohibition Die Hard
The United States District Court for the District of Kansas ruled in a summary judgement against the State of Kansas and found a provision of the Kansas Liquor Control Act unconstitutional. The State tried to claim their residency requirement for anyone applying for a liquor distributorship was lawful, mainly due to the supremacy of the 21st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution over the Commerce Clause of that same document. The court found that Kansas did not have unlimited power to regulate alcohol any way it saw fit, and the Commerce Clause limits states' ability to restrict interstate trade of alcoholic beverages. Although the state's three-tiered system of manufacturers, distributors, and retailers remains intact, out-of-state residents may now become distributors and "import" beer into Kansas. Unfortunately, the state's power to regulate alcohol for purposes of "temperance" remains allowable, so consumers and brewers still must endure the restrictive anti-happy hour laws and Draconian raids by the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. It remains to be seen whether the Internet Age can bring consumer-friendly aspects of the 21st century to the state that only repealed Prohibition in 1949 and still has 41 "dry" counties. Ref: GLAZER'S WHOLESALE DRUG CO., INC., v STATE OF KANSAS (99-2363-DJW) http://www.ksd.uscourts.gov/opinions/992363DJW-69.html
Beer Drinkers - 1, Social Engineers - 0
February 16 2001 (USA Today) Lincoln, Nebraska - The attorney general's office said the state can't stop stores from selling beer in Whiteclay. Leaders of the Oglala Sioux Indian Tribe sought a ban to help curb alcoholism at the nearby Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The state Liquor Control Commission sought an opinion after an advocacy group, Nebraskans for Peace, and the tribe complained about the sales.
Commerce Clause Tops 21st Amendment, this Time
February 16 2001 (USA Today) Kansas City, Missouri - Out-of-state liquor wholesale companies are free to do business in Kansas after a federal judge struck down a 52-year-old law that had kept them out. U.S. Magistrate David Waxse said the law was unconstitutional. The ruling clears the way for a Texas company to buy two Kansas liquor wholesalers.
Nature Calls, Fine Results
February 14 2001 (BEERWeekTM) GERMAN DRINKER FINED FOR URINATING ON WOMAN'S LEG - A German man was fined $600 by a Munich court for urinating on the leg of a female student in an Oktoberfest beer tent, according to a Feb. 7 Reuters report. The 22-year-old told the court that he had drunk two liters of beer and "felt an urgent need to relieve himself" and tried to do it "in an inconspicuous way." "I didn't mean to hit anyone," he said.
The weekly news digest brought to you by The Celebrator Beer News (http://www.Celebrator.com) and Real Beer, Inc. (http://www.realbeer.com).
Dancing Outlawed as Unsafe in Kansas City
February 1 2001 (reported in Pitch Weekly) Kansas City, Missouri - "Dancing on bar or tabletop is prohibited." That message was communicated to city bar owners by Kansas City's manager of regulated industries, Eldon Audsley in the city's mailing of 2001 alcoholic beverage licenses. Just another example of improved quality of life brought to you by governments' power to regulate alcohol as a result of the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Federal Blackmail in Process
January 14 2001 (USA Today) Phoenix, Arizona - The Legislature is considering six bills to lower the legal limits for drunken driving. For at least six years, lawmakers have killed proposals to lower the limit for blood-alcohol level from 0.10%. But if the Legislature fails to lower the limit to 0.08% by Oct. 1, 2003, the state could lose $65 million in federal highway funds.
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