Politics and Alcohol, a volatile mix
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Bhutan Brewpubs Beware
November 30 - (Express) - The tiny, impoverished Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan next month will become the first country in the world to ban all smoking in public and all sales of tobacco.
Kansas Voters Hold Off 21st Century
November 30 (USA Today) - Satanta, Kansas - Residents of this small southwestern Kansas community still have to make a 30-mile round trip to Copeland to buy drinks with more alcohol than beer. Voters rejected a proposal to allow the sale of liquor and wine. Opponents of the measure said alcohol hurts families. Supporters wanted to keep the revenue in Satanta. Only a few towns in the state prohibit the sale of packaged liquor.
Zero Intelligence Policies Spreading like Cancer
December 8, 2004 (Washington Post) - New Orleans - A girl 8, was suspended for nine days for bringing to school what appeared to be about 30 "Jell-O shots." Under the school's ban on the possession or distribution of a lookalike, the girl's suspension will stand even though the gelatin contained no alcohol, a school official said.
You Only Hurt the one you Love
December 3, 2004 - A British couple's wedded bliss lasted just 90 minutes, ended by a brawl that led to the groom's arrest, the Sun reported. Trouble began after Scott McKie, 23, of Bramhall toasted the bridesmaids, officials said. His new wife Victoria, 39, was upset at the choice of toast and hit him over the head with an ashtray. Fifty guests watched as Scott picked up a hatstand and threw it javelin-style at the bar, then threatened to kill his new wife. He fought with police when they showed up and was hauled down to the station. Victoria filed for divorce the next day.
Supreme Court Rules DUI not a Crime of Violence
November 10, 2004 (Express)- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on November 9, 2004 that a Haitian man who pleaded guilty to felony DUI could not be deported for the conviction since the statute specifies deportation for crimes of violence, and that drunken driving, even with an accident, is not a crime of violence. Read this decision which may slow the spread of abusive and irrational anti-alcohol laws: http://laws.findlaw.com/us/000/03-583.htm
Serial Snuggler Prefers Beer & Pizza
November 10, 2004 (USA Today) - Baton Rouge, Louisiana - Baton Rouge's serial was sentenced to five years of probation. Steve Danos, 26, pleaded guilty earlier this year to 12 counts of unauthorized entry. None of the victims was hurt. The intruder roused the residents to ask about a party, helped himself to beer and pizza, folded clothes, made nachos and crawled into one woman's bed to rub her stomach.
Utah Governor Considers Legalizing Adulthood
November 10, 2004 (USA Today) - Utah Gov.-elect John Huntsman Jr. said his efforts to boost Utah's economy and its image may include changing the state's liquor laws, the nation's most restrictive. Huntsman, a Republican, said he also wants to simplify taxes, give breaks to small businesses, cut capital gains taxes and match other states' economic incentives. Huntsman, the son of a billionaire industrialist, is a Mormon who abstains from alcohol. He has appointed restaurant-chain owner Tom Guinney and former radio host Tom Barberi - whose mantra was "legalize adulthood in Utah" - to recommend more "user-friendly" alcohol regulations. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day saints are forbidden to drink, and laws in the heavily Mormon state reflect that. Getting a glass of hard liquor requires a trip to a private club, where patrons must "join" and pay a membership fee.
Do Not Operate Heavy Machinery Under the Influence
November 10, 2004 (AP) - A drunk man broke into a Mayacamas, Calif., fire station after his car became stuck in the mud Friday to look for a phone, but couldn't find one. So he stole a fire engine to try to dislodge the car, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. He drove through the station door, but then ran the truck off the road before getting to his car. The fire engine, too, got stuck in the mud.
American Style Zero Intelligence Spreads
October 11, 2004 (AP) - Whatever happened to chocolate, vanilla and strawberry? a court in southern Russia has banned the sale of Ukrainian ice cream that hit the shelves under names alluding to drugs, such as "Your Hemp Dose" and "Poppy Fun", a drug control official said Friday. Narcotics officers in the city of Rostov-on-Don filed suit after noticing the ice cream in kiosks, and a district court ordered the product removed from all shops and other points of sale in the region, said Larisa Maslova, spokeswoman for the Rostov region drug control department.
Beer for Football Victory
October 8, 2004 (Radio Prague) - Czech brewery promises to "reward" players if they win Euro 2004. The Czech football team's excellent run at Euro 2004 has been good for the pub trade here as many Czechs go to bars to watch the matches and cheer their team on. One Czech brewery has been in the news recently with an interesting marketing ploy to take advantage of this upsurge in business and keep beer on people's minds. In what is apparently an effort to encourage the team, the Bernard brewery has offered the Czech coach a lifetime's supply of beer if his players can win the tournament. The brewery has also promised the entire Czech squad 160 litres of beer each, if they are successful at Euro 2004. One would think that such an offer would hardly motivate a bunch of millionaire professional footballers, but Prague barman David Hylas disagrees. He says all Czechs have an emotional attachment to beer and that the offer would be appreciated: "Oh yeah - If you say the word 'Czech' the first thing that comes into your mind is probably beer. The Czechs call it their 'liquid bread'. Traditionally, nobody here really minds when the price of flour or milk goes up, but whenever the price of beer increases it's always a big problem." The Czechs are indeed fond of their beer. Lagers and dark beers have been brewed here for centuries and the Czech Republic regularly tops international beer consumption charts. If beer is their favourite drink, football is also their most popular sport. David says that beer and football often go hand-in-hand, as most Czech players like to wind down with a few beers after a hard match. "Beer and football is the same word almost. Why do we play football? Just to get a thirst and to splash it with a beer. We play to get a thirst and to treat ourselves with a beer. If you just go for a beer on its own, you maybe feel you shouldn't treat yourself that much, but if you play football beforehand, you're going to treat yourself and get a couple of pints - that's perfect." Having been a barman for over a decade, David has seen his bar fill out down through the years for many football tournaments and other large sporting events, especially when the Czech competitors are doing well. He predicts that a victory for the Czech Republic in Portugal would be good for business as the locals will presumably treat themselves to gallons of their national drink to celebrate. But what if the Czechs lose? "Then, we'll just drink dark beer, because Czechs make black, dark beer as well. Black is the colour of sorrow so [when we're sad] we've drink the black beer."
Guilt by Association with Beer
October 1, 2004 (AP) - Keith Emerich, 44, who lost his driving privileges after his doctor reported to police that he drank a six-pack of beer a day, has asked Commonwealth Court to overturn the state Department of Transportation's decision to revoke his license. A Lebanon, Pa., County Common Pleas judge ruled that Emerich may obtain restricted driving privileges as long as he uses a device that tests his blood-alcohol content before starting his car. Emerich, a printing company employee, was notified in April he would lose his license, about two months after he disclosed his drinking habit to doctors treating him for an irregular heartbeat. A Pennsylvania law from the 1960s requires doctors to report any impairments in patients that could compromise their ability to drive safely. Emerich has said he does not drive drunk and argued that he reduced his beer drinking to weekends and has a clean driving record.
Political Correctness Comes to Multinational Brewing Behemoth
October 1, 2004 (Post Express) - Belgium - Belgium-based InBev, the world's biggest brewer, no longer wants its managers drinking during lunchtime, Reuters reported. Staff moving into brand-new headquarters will find that alcohol is no longer being served at the company bar during working hours. The company told its unions - which were angry that they were not consulted - that the pub would still serve beer after hours. The policy does not affect employees at production sites. InBev was created in August when Belgium's Interbrew merged with AmBev of Brazil, and lunchtime alcohol consumption is out of step with the culture of an international company, spokeswoman Marianne Amssoms said.
Creative Prohibition Idea from New Mexico DA
Alcohol Related Non-injury
September 14, 2004 (Post Express/AP) - Not many people get run over by a train and live to tell about it. Shawn Polley did - but won't remember much of his story. Police in Le Mars, Iowa, say Polley was drunk and passed out between the rails on a set of railroad racks earlier this month. A train engineer didn't notice Polley until his train had passed over the sleeping man. Miraculously, Polley wans't hurt. Police said that when they finally reached the scene, they had to wake him up.
Truck Driver Disappears with 50,000 cans of Moosehead
August 27, 2004 (CNN/Reuters) - Toronto, Ontario - Cans labeled in English and Spanish still missing, driver found, mystery unsolved. Details at www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/americas/08/26/canada.beer.heist.reut/index.html
Russian Autocrats Take Lessons from American Neoprohibitionists - Media Fuels the Fire of Hysteria
August 6, 2004 (Kansas City Star - AP) - Thanks to hip advertising and trendy breweries, beer's popularity has soared in the land of vodka. But Russia's brewers have hit a snag; the lower house of parliament passed legislation Thursday that would put some of Europe's toughest restrictions on beer ads. The move reflects growing concern about alcoholism and lawlessness in Russia - and underscores the tremendous impact that President Vladimir Putin is having on the country. If the measure gets upper house approval and is signed into law, no beer ads would be allowed on TV or radio from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. At other times, the ads couldn't show humans, animals or animated characters or imply that beer is connected with social or athletic success - restrictions that also were extended to beer ads for newspapers and magazines. Lawmakers cited public concerns about growing alcoholism and youth drinking, and some regional lawmakers are pushing for a ban on drinking in public. "The situation is very critical. We may lose an entire generation," Mikhail Grishankov, deputy head of the security committee in the State Duma, parliament's lower house, was quoted as saying by the business newspaper Vedomosti. On average, Russians drank about 15 gallons of beer per person last year, still below many European nations, but consumption is growing, the Russian Brewers' Union said. Beer is sold around the clock at kiosks, costing as little as 15 rubles for a half-liter bottle, or about 50 cents a pint.
Oregon Becomes Beer-friendly for Consumers
August 19, 2004 (USA Today) - Portland, Oregon - A two-year pilot program to sell liquor in Portland grocery stores makes shopping more convenient for consumers and boost foot traffic for grocers, supporters say. Critics say the plan will hurt existing liquor stores. The state started phasing in the program this month. Six outlets are to open by Dec. 31.
Big Bears Choose Ranier
August 19, 2004 (USA Today) - Baker Lake, Washington - When state Fish and Wildlife agents found a black bear passed out on the lawn of Baker Lake Resort , some clues were scattered nearby: dozens of empty beer cans. The bear apparently got into coolers belonging to campers and used his claws and teeth to puncture the cans. The bear will be relocated.
Government Drug Prevents Hangover
June, 2004 (Popular Science) - Russia - A drug that the KGB invented to keep heavy-drinking spies on their toes will be sold to Americans as a hangover cure. Developed by the Russian Academy of Sciences in the 1970s, the RU-21 hangover preventative is based on sound physiology. When alcohol enters the body it is absorbed by the cells, which convert it into acetaldehyde. A toxic compound, acetaldehyde is believed responsible for causing hangovers. RU-21 has two effects, according to its marketer, Spirit Sciences of California. First it slows the production of acetaldehyde. Then, it stimulates the cells to produce an enzyme that converts acetaldehyde into less toxic acetic acid, which the body then excretes. Spirit Sciences plans to have RU-21 for sale at major retailers this year.
Churches Accustomed to Restricting Beer Businesses Now Find the Shoe is on the Other Foot
August 14, 2004 (USA Today) - Clover, South Carolina - Some town leaders who've had enough of storefront churches downtown are pushing an ordinance to stop churches from opening and to keep others from expanding. Officials said the storefronts only generate foot traffic for a few hours on Sundays. Town Council postponed a decision. Furman University political science professor , Donald Aiesi, said the limitation is clearly unconstitutional.
Men's Health Magazine Trashes Denver Beer Scene - Yellow Journalism on Steroids?
August 13, 2004 (Denver Post) - Aurora, Colorado - Friday, August 13, 2004 - Researchers at Men's Health magazine have published a report that ranks Denver as the drunkest big city in America. Denver tops even the most notoriously decadent, the survey says. We smashed New Orleans and stewed Las Vegas. We tied one on over L.A. and schnockered New York. The ranking surprised even the researchers. "Who knows?" the article reads. "Maybe the thin air makes everyone thickheaded about designating drivers and limiting libations." Though the article takes a lighthearted look at the rankings, the editors based the list on some sobering statistics: Denver ranked worst among 101 big cities for the number of drunken-driving arrests, alcohol-related driving deaths and deaths due to six alcohol-related liver diseases. Matt Marion, who edited the article, cautioned that the survey intends to rank the cities by a measure of lethality, and not overall drunkenness - which is perhaps impossible to measure. "What we really looked at were cities that we call 'dangerously drunk,"' Marion said.
That doesn't mean the mag didn't have a little fun with the subject. The piece is titled: "Is Your City Sloshed?" Denver ranked last. Aurora staggered in at 64th with Colorado Springs tying with Lexington, Ky., at 62nd. Marion said the rate of Denver DUI arrests reached 547 per 100,000 residents. About 68 percent of fatal traffic accidents here were caused by alcohol, and deaths due to liver disease occurred at a rate of 12.4 per 100,000. "We are the Napa Valley of beer," said Steve Kurowski, spokesman for the Breckenridge Brewery in Denver. "We have more brewpubs per capita than any state in the country." And we revel in it. Next month Denver will sponsor the "Great American Beer Festival," which, according to the Association of Brewers in Boulder, has "the biggest selection of beers ever gathered together on the globe." The beer gathering at the Colorado Convention Center will feature 1,600 beers from 320 breweries. Some question the magazine's methodology. With the emphasis placed on DUI arrests and driving deaths, New York comes off looking like a Sunday school meeting - but New Yorkers can carouse until near daybreak and depend on cabbies or mass transit - or parking meters as walking sticks - to wend their way home. Denver police spokesman John White said the city has a low tolerance for alcohol-impaired drivers. It's a safety issue, he said. "As a department, we do very aggressively enforce our DUI laws," White said. Denver's low grade comes despite declines in recent DUI arrests and alcohol-related deaths. That data hasn't yet made it into the national databases on which the magazine relied.
Still, it's not the first time a magazine has noticed Denver's drinking problem. Last year, Men's Fitness gave the city bad marks, saying Denver has "far more bars and taverns than most cities surveyed." Denver is, after all, a town run by a bar-owning mayor, considering a senatorial candidate who runs a beer company, and one that watches its baseball in a park named for the senatorial candidate's beer company. But Mayor John Hickenlooper, who owns seven bars, didn't find the ranking a selling point for the city. "Any time you're in the bottom half, you can't be happy with that. It's no laughing matter," Hickenlooper said. He said cities with some of the highest grades including Boston have excellent mass transit systems that may have given them an edge. Hickenlooper said he has long offered designated drivers free soda and orange juice. "I've always believed the bar industry had the responsibility for the highest ethics in serving people," he said. Jo, office manager for Denver's Alcoholics Anonymous, said almost 470 AA groups in the metro area host 1,100 meetings each week. Between 8,000 and 10,000 people from all walks of life attend, she said. "Basically, they (Men's Health) are talking about all the people who aren't here yet," Jo said. "Maybe they'll be future members."
Colleges Pay the Price for No Positive Drinking Role Models
August 12, 2004 (Denver Post) - Aurora, Colorado - The University of Colorado is trying to shed its image as the No. 1 party school in the nation by imposing tougher alcohol policies, including a required Web class on alcohol abuse for freshmen. The school's Board of Regents on Wednesday also debated pulling illegally displayed CU logos from liquor- store promotions and protesting liquor-license applications near campus. CU is still smarting from being ranked the top party school in the nation last fall by the Princeton Review magazine. Also, two federal lawsuits claim sex and booze were used at CU to entice high school athletic recruits. Wednesday's newly announced drinking policies were first discussed before allegations about CU's football recruiting practices were made public in January. But they are designed to address a runaway campus culture that fostered the scandal. Students must earn an 80 percent on the three-hour, noncredit alcohol-education course to register for next spring's classes, vice chancellor Ron Stump said. About one-fifth of the 5,548 incoming freshmen have already completed the course. All are encouraged to take it before the start of classes Aug. 23, said Robert Maust, director of CU's alcohol-education program. "Some students felt offended by the requirement, that it implied they had a problem with alcohol and we expected them to cause problems on campus," Maust said. "But after taking the course, they realize that it's intended to inform, not discipline." In addition, the school's "three strikes and you're out" alcohol policy was toughened to allow for suspension on the first or second alcohol violation. Penalties also were stiffened for each offense. "If it's egregious enough, it could result in suspension on the first strike," Stump said. "We found that some students thought they had three shots at this thing." An egregious violation could include physical or sexual assault or destruction of property. It could also include endangering the health or safety of someone else, CU officials said. Parents will now receive a letter after a student's first drinking violation. Some parents complained they weren't learning of the problem until the second occurrence, Stump said. Regent Jim Martin suggested an immediate phone call from CU to parents on the first offense. "A phone call to the parents from the university would be a wake-up call and raise the consciousness level one degree," Martin said. An alcohol violation is defined as any number of student-code violations including underage drinking or drinking in nondesignated areas on campus. A violation does not necessarily require police action, CU spokesman Peter Caughey said. Students can contest violations before the campus judicial-affairs hearing board and can appeal a decision. Students can also be prosecuted criminally.
CU also announced more detailed plans in direct response to the football scandal. A 14- member faculty-dominated advisory board was named to propose athletic-department policy on admission standards, recruiting practices and hiring. Also, Stump will now spend half his time working on athletic-department issues such as team discipline, addressing allegations of sexual harassment and violence against women, and overseeing compliance with recruiting policies. Lisa Simon, spokeswoman for Lisa Simpson's attorney, had no comment on the new policies. Simpson is one of three plaintiffs in the federal lawsuits who claims she was raped at an alcohol-fueled off-campus party in 2001. Peggy Lamm, co-chairwoman of the commission that made recommendations for change after investigating the scandal and CU culture for three months, was unavailable for comment on the new policies.
Efforts to fight campus alcohol abuse may not stop with Wednesday's new rules, regents said. Regent Cindy Carlisle suggested stripping Boulder liquor stores of the CU logo used in advertisements. Use of the logo without permission is illegal, CU attorneys said. Carlisle also said CU should be more aggressive in protesting liquor-license applications before the local liquor licensing board. CU cracks down - New sanctions for alcohol/drug offenses at the University of Colorado at Boulder: First offense-Parental notification; Five hours of community service; Attendance at alcohol awareness class costing $100; Probation for one semester - student is on notice that more serious penalties are forthcoming with additional violations; Can include suspension depending on severity Second offense-Parental notification; Ten hours of community service; Referral to the city of Boulder's "2nd Offender" program at a cost of $400; Suspension for one semester if on probation for first offense Third offense-Parental notification; Suspension
Reservation Prohibition Fuels Nearby Beer Sales
August 11, 2004 (USA Today) - White Clay, Nebraska - The State Liquor Control Commission denied a license for a forth beer store in Whiteclay. Whiteclay, which has about a dozen residents, has sales of about 11,000 cans of beer per day, mainly to some of the Ogala Sioux who cannot legally take beer onto the Pine Ridge Reservation.
But Officer, The Island Just Jumped Out In Front of Me
August 11, 2004 (USA Today) - Burlington, Vermont - Todd Ellsworth, 30 pleaded innocent to drunken boating charges following a crash on Lake Champlain that injured four people. Ellsworth's 30-foot powerboat smashed into a small island in Malletts Bay, police said. Three passengers were treated and released from the hospital. A fourth suffered a serious head injury.
Better Drinking Through Technology
August 11, 2004 (AP/Express)- A trio of college fraternity buddies hopes to end the problem of warm beer. Adam Hunnell and two of his "brothers" are using a $20,000 entrepreneur grant to develop the "Keg Wrap." Hunnell, a grad student at Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University, compared the Keg Wrap to a heating blanket that chills instead of warms, powered by an electric socket or a car's lighter. "We had kegs with a party and we thought, 'There's got to be a better way than sticking a keg in a trash can and creating a big mess'." co-developer Nathan Siavin recalled.
Alcohol-Related Injuries at 30,000 Feet
July 21, 2004 (AP) - (Moscow, Russia)- Drunken passengers often give air crews trouble, but Russia's leading airline yesterday reported an "unprecedented" reversal: a passenger was assaulted by intoxicated flight attendants. Two crew members on a domestic Aeroflot flight beat up a passenger who had complained that the flight attendants were drunk, an airline spokeswoman, Irina Dannenberg, said. The passenger, who was identified only as A. Chernopup, was aboard a recent flight from Moscow to the Siberian city of Nizhnevartovsk, Ms Dannenberg said. She said the crew belonged to another airline, Aviaenergo. Seeing that the crew were intoxicated and were not fulfilling their duties, Mr Chernopup asked to be served by a sober and competent flight attendant, Ms Dannenberg said. He was then beaten up by crew members. On Russian flights, attendants often have to struggle to keep intoxicated passengers under control. But on this flight, she said, flight attendants were so intoxicated that they "behaved improperly" and only began catering to passengers 90 minutes into the four-hour trip. The daily newspaper Izvestia quoted another passenger as saying that half of the food the crew served ended up on the floor, leaving the aisle strewn with debris that passengers had to walk over as they disembarked. According to the passenger, Mr Chernopup left the plane with a black eye and was sent to a doctor. Izvestia also reported that a criminal case was opened after he reported the incident to the police.
Vodka and Cheese - a Dangerous Mix
July 20, 2004 (Express/AP)- Police in Marysville, Tenn., say they arrested a 23-year-old man wearing nothing but cheese on Sunday. He was allegedly carrying food stolen from a concession stand at a pool. Police say they found Michael Monn's Jeep parked near the pool, with clothes and a bottle of vodka inside. They they saw Monn running toward the Jeep in the nude, with cheese in his hair, on his face and on his shoulders. Police say he smelled of alcohol and wasn't fully coherent.
Government Protects Connecticut Citizens from Barroom Poker
July 15, 2004 (USA Today)- Four Connecticut bars were told to end "poker night" promotions in which they allow the card game to be played for cash. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal sent a cease-and-desist letter to three bars in Stamford and one in Hamden. State liquor officials said barroom poker violates state laws that ban gambling except for social games between friends.
Beer and Firearms Impact Fertility
July 14, 2004 (Express/AP)- A man in Sheffield, England, who accidently shot himself in the groin after drinking 15 pints of beer and stuffing a sawed-off shotgun down his trousers was jailed for five years Tuesday for illegal possession of a firearm. David Walker, 28, underwent emergency surgery following the March 6 incident. Tests were continuing to find out how it would affect his fertility and future sexual relationships, his lawyer Gulzar Syed said, adding that some pellets remained in Walker's scrotum. Walker admitted one charge of possession of a prohibited firearm at a previous hearing.
Million Dollar Propaganda Campaign - Are You More Intelligent than this?
July 13, 2004 (USA Today) - (Puerto Rico) - The island launched a $1 million campaign to discourage youth from smoking and drinking. The campaign slogan is "You are more intelligent than this" and includes TV and movie ads. It's the first project of Puerto Rico's Office of Drug Control, which was created in 2001.
June 17, 2004 (Express) - Beer won't just give you that tingly feeling on the inside - it can also serve as a saive for the outside forces that ail you, a German brewer says. The small Neuzeller Kloster Brewery in the village of Neuzelle brews what it calls a bathing beer in addition to its usual assortment of beverages, Reuters reported. The beer - a product for external and internal use, according to its label - is a hit in the relaxation room at Germany's Hotel Esplanade, where patrons soak up the suds during bathroom treatments.
June 4, 2004 (Express) - A 39-year-old man was arrested Tuesday after stripping off his clothes and entering a Woodstock, Ontario, car wash for an impromptu shower. Police say a cab stopped to fill up at a gas station about 10 p.m. when the passenger got out and decided to have a wash before going home, the Woodstock Sentinel-Review reported. The man's name wasn't released. He was charged with being intoxicated in a public place.
Iron from your Drinking Diet?
July 7, 2004 (AP/Express) - Vietnamese doctors removed three metal construction rods from a man's stomach about a month after he swallowed them in a rice whiskey drinking challenge, an official said Monday. Huynh Ngoc Son, 22, swallowed the rods, which were 5.7 inches long and about a quarter-inch thick, after being dared by his drinking buddies in mid-May, said Dr. Le Quang Nghia of Binh Dan Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. Son went to the hospital last week complaining of serious stomach pains. The rods were removed during a 30-minute operation, and Son's stomach was not seriously damaged by the ordeal, Nghia said.
Albuquerque Brewpubs go Breathing-Friendly
July 1, 2004 - After years of enduring a city "clean air" ordinance that provided no clean air to beer drinkers there is finally relief. The city's new ordinance gave bars the choice of enclosing their smoking areas or going non-smoking. The Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce predicted a loss in state gross tax revenue of $4M the first year, yet there were no aid programs to help businesses offset the costs of businesses providing a clean air setting for their employees or customers. As bars in Tempe learned the hard way recently, a mindless push to go non-smoking without analyzing how easily determined smokers can go to a nearby municipality can be devastating for business. Fortunately for Albuquerque brewpubs they are unlikely to loose business to customers driving west to Turtle Mountain, south to Tractor Brewing or north to Second Street Brewing. For a more positive review of successful implementations of a smoking ban check out the review of Dublin's now non-smoking pub environment in July's Celebrator Beer News and July's Budget Travel.
Organic Hangover Cure?
June 29, 2004 (Chicago Tribune)- Louisiana - A study release Monday has found that an extract of prickly pear cactus can prevent a severe hangover. The study found that when taken hours before drinking, the extract can alleviate symptoms such as dry mouth and that nauseated, can't-stand-the-sight-of-food feeling. It does not appear to ease other symptoms such as headaches and dizziness. But unlike raw egg mixtures, cold pizza, greasy breakfasts and other folk remedies, the extract helps prevent the symptoms instead of trying to relieve them. The study appears in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine and was led by Dr. Jeff Wiese at the Tulane Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.
From Pints to Puffs to Nicotine Gum
April 2004 (On Tap) - A pint and a butt might seem an inextricable part of the Irish bar scene - but no more. As of last week, smoking is banned in Ireland's bars and restaurants and other public spaces. It's a trend that's on fire. Norway will adopt a ban April 8; Sweden, July 1; New Zealand, Dec.1; and Bhutan, Dec. 31. An international treaty to ban smoking in public places has been signed by 101 countries, says John F. Bazhaff III, executive director of Action on Smoking and Health. Ratification is pending. The United States hasn't signed the treaty, but travelers who smoke and those who hate it, take note: Smoking is banned in restaurants and bars statewide in California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Delaware. Smoking is banned in restaurants but allowed in bars in Florida, South Dakota, Vermont and Utah. The law is similar in Maryland, except that bar areas in restaurants may allow smoking. Singapore now apparently considers smoking even worse than chewing gum: The nation this month will lift its 12-year ban on chewing gum to make an exception for nicotine gum to help smokers quit.
Civilization Chipping away at Utah Prohibitionists
June 1, 2004 (Providence, Utah)- City leaders lifted the ban on beer and wine with meals at restaurants. But the revised rule isn't without the restrictions common across Utah. Restaurants would be allowed to sell beer and wine as long a 70% of the establishments business comes from food. It also limits the bar area to 30% of the restaurant's total space.
Drinking for that Inner Glow
April 21, 2004 (Sydney Morning Herald)- Ditch the vitamins and herb pills - getting that "inner glow" has never been easier...if you work at ERA's 24-year-old Ranger mine in Kakadu National Park. Fancy a potion that will set you alight from the inside out? Talk about looking after you staff, with no less than 28 lucky mine employees chugga-lugging uranium-contaminated water at the mine last month after the process water system - containing uranium and other chemicals - was mistakenly connected to the system that supplies drinking and showering water. Whoops.
Drinking Challenger Looses in Meltdown
April 21, 2004 (Sydney Morning Herald/Newsday) - (New York)- A drunken man died after he set fire to a rug and challenged his roommate to see who could stay longer in their house - on Fire Island, New York. Police said that as the flames spread, Thomas Woods, 59, fired one or two rounds from a pre-World War I Mauser pistol, although they did not know why. When the fire began to look dangerous, Mr. Wood's roommate, Rod Bennet, ran to a neighbour's house to summon the fire brigade. Police said there were no indications of foul play and no arrests had been made. Mr. Bennet was handcuffed after the fire because he was combative and distraught. His story of what happened "is so incredible" that it's probably "credible", Detective Sergeant Ed Fandrey of Suffolk County homicide squad said. The two men were drinking heavily on Saturday night when Mr. Woods issued his dare: "Let's see which one of us leaves first." Apparently, after issuing the dare Mr. Woods had fallen asleep on a couch and tried to escape when he woke up. His body was found near the entrance, on top of a pile of plastic that had melted off the windows during the blaze.
Double Jeapordy OKAY when Against Delaware Bar Owners
March 11, 2004 (USA Today) - (Dover, Delaware)- A bill that would have prevented violators of Delaware's indoor smoking ban from being fined twice failed in the Senate by a single vote. Supporters said it's unfair that bar and restaurant owners who allow smoking in their establishments can be fined by both the health department and the alcoholic beverage commission.
Idaho Students Learn How Big Brother Stays Big
March 11, 2004 (USA Today) - (Boise, Idaho)- The House Education Committee unanimously supported a state scholarship that would reward high school students who volunteer for and pass random drug, alcohol and tobacco testing. School districts would have the option of participating in the program.
Arizona Consumers Get More Time
June 11, 2004 (USA Today) - (Phoenix, Arizona)- The state Senate approved legislation that would allow alcoholic beverage sales until 2a.m., an hour later that currently permitted. The House had approved the bill, so it goes to Gov. Napolitano. a Napolitano spokeswoman said the governor hasn't read the bill or taken a position on it.
Tale of "alcohol and a woman"
June 9, 2004 (USA Today) - (Grand Island, Nebraska)- Howard County Sheriff Troy Kaiser is standing trial this week. He's charged with threatening another man at a March 2003 dance at Grand Island's Fonner Park. Police have said the incident involved alcohol and a woman. If convicted, Kaiser could face up to five years in prison, a $10,000 fine and lose his law enforcement certification.
Please Excuse Norman from Drunk School Today
April 27, 2004 (International Express) - (Sydney, Australia)- A drink-driver's plan to avoid a court appearance backfired when he sent a phoney sick note to his solicitor. Retired businessman Norman Preston, 59, claimed he was too ill to appear. In fact, he was heading to Mexico but he faxed the note as he checked in for the trip and it carried the airport address. Magistrates at Llandudno, North Wales, fined Preston, of Bispham, Lancs, who already had two drink-driving convictions, £175 for failing to surrender to bail. He was also banned from driving for five years, ordered to pay £75 costs and given a 12-month community rehabilitation order.
Lobbyists Override Consumer Protection Legislation
May 15, 2004 (USA Today) - (St. Paul, Minnesota)- A move to ban smoking in bars and restaurants may fizzle in the legislature. The bill didn't get a committee hearing in the House, two key committee deadlines have passed and the House speaker and the chairwoman of a key House health committee oppose it. Democrats and Republicans both support the proposal, but the hospitality industry says it would hurt bars and restaurants.
Smokers' Effluent Under Attack
May 15, 2004 (USA Today) - (Los Angeles, California)- A City Council committee recommended banning smoking on beaches. The proposal matches laws already passed or pending elsewhere along the Southern California coast, where cigarette butts litter beaches. A similar proposal in Santa Monica received initial City Council approval last month. San Clemente and Solana Beach have enacted bans.
Prevent a Sniffle, go to Prison in Oklahoma
May 15, 2004 (USA Today) - (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)- Oklahoma would become the first state to regulate cold tablets with decongestant pseudoephedrine under a bill pending in the Legislature. Pseudophedrine is used to make methamphetamine, an illegal drug. The bill would require a photo ID and a signature to buy such products at a pharmacy. Pseudoephdrine is found in over-the-counter cold medication.
Social Engineering's 21-yr old Drinking Age Fails to Cure Underage Drinking - Surprise!
May 15, 2004 (USA Today) - (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)- Juvenile arrests for drunken driving rose nearly 12% from 2001 to 2002 while adult arrests for the offense decreased 2.7%, according to the Department of Transportation. The number of teenagers arrested for drunken driving in 2002 was 724, a 15-year high. Critics said the study shows that it's too easy for juveniles to get alcohol.
Oklahoma Taliban Spell Out 12th Century Justice Against Zymurgist
May 15, 2004 (USA Today) - (Chickasha, Oklahoma)- A Grady County inmate received a 10-year sentence for brewing an alcoholic beverage from orange juice and grape jelly while in jail. Timothy Pugh, 26, pleaded guilty to possession of contraband in a penal facility after he was caught with three gallons of the brew.
Rumors of Campus "Quantity" Beer Drinking
May 1, 2004 (USA Today) - (New Orleans, Louisiana)- Loyola University accused 24 members of a splinter sorority group of hazing incidents that included forcing pledges to drink large amounts of alcohol and sit in bathtubs filled with ice. Tri Phi is an off-campus social group. Some of the students denied mistreating pledges and said the charges are based on rumors.
Delaware to Lighten Up on Abusing Alcohol Licensees?
March 15, 2004 (USA Today) - (Dover, Delaware)- Legislation pending in the state Senate would reduce the punishment for violations of the state's indoor-smoking ban. Under the current law, bars violating the ban can face an additional sanction from the alcohol commissioner. Supporters of the proposed change say it isn't fair that places with alcohol licenses face a harsher punishment that others.
Due Process Thwarts Anti-alcohol Law Enforcement Excesses
May 15, 2004 (USA Today) - (Pierre, South Dakota)- Ashley Lynn Webb took her fight with Aberdeen authorities to the state Supreme Court - and won. Webb was 20 when she was arrested in an Aberdeen alley for underage drunken driving. She was stopped because the officer mistakenly believed that it was illegal for drivers to back up on roads. Her driver's license can't be revoked because the officer didn't have a legitimate reason to stop her, the justices said.
Lawrence to go "Breathing Friendly" ?
May 6, 2004 (USA Today) - (Lawrence, Kansas)- City commissioners gave preliminary approval to an ordinance that would ban smoking in almost all buildings open to the public, including bars and restaurants. The ordinance needs approval next week to take effect July 1.
St. Paul Weighs Going Breathing Friendly
May 6, 2004 (USA Today) - (St. Paul, Minnesota) - City Councilman Dave Thune plans to introduce an ordinance to make St. Paul's restaurants and bars smoke-free. He calls it a public health measure designed to protect bar and restaurant employees and patrons. It could affect as many as 1,200 establishments. If the ordinance is adopted, St. Paul would become the largest city in Minnesota to go smoke-free.
Montana Cops Tell Kids "Don't Celebrate at St. Patrick's Day Parade"
March 16, 2004 (USA Today) - (Butte, Montana)- Law enforcement authorities want children to stay away from Uptown Butte for the St. Patrick's Day parade and celebration Wednesday. The presence of children makes it more difficult for law officers to police underage drinking and drunken driving, Sheriff John Welsh said.
Missouri Tells Kayakers "A Bottle of Beer Get's You a Year in the Slammer"
March 14, 2004 (USA Today) - (Jefferson City, Missouri)- Canoeists and kayakers can no longer bring glass containers onto Missouri waterways under legislation passed by the House. The provisions of the bill are directed only at small boats easily susceptible to tipping, such as canoes and kayaks. Violating the law would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
Prohibitionist Honored at Institution of "Higher Learning"
March 11, 2004 (USA Today) - (Providence, Rhode Island) - Robert Carothersalcohol, president of the University of Rhode Island, was recognized by education researchers in Washington for helping curb student alcohol abuse. Among his initiatives was barring alcohol from social and athletic functions on campus. He also made homecoming weekend in October an alcohol-free event. Carothers, 61, became URI's president in 1991.
Kentucky Bar Owners Claim Constitutional Right to Pollute Customers' Lungs
March 10, 2004 (USA Today) - (Frankfort, Kentucky) - Attorneys for the city of Lexington asked the Kentucky Supreme Court to uphold a ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and other public buildings. An organization of bar and restaurant owners sued to block the ordinance, claiming it was unconstitutional. Attorney John Walters says the case is about business owners' property rights. The city said it acted to protect public health.
.08 Law Snares Wisconsin's Top Cop
February 29, 2004 (USA Today) - (Wisconsin)- Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager pleaded guilty to a civil drunken-driving violation and apologized to voters, saying "this was a big mistake." Lautenschlager, 48, was cited Monday after she drove her state-owned car into a ditch. She was alone and wasn't injured. She had a blood alcohol level of 0.12%, according to a preliminary breath test. The state limit is 0.08%. Her lawyer said she paid the $784 fine, will lose her license for a year and will undergo alcohol counseling. She said she won't resign.
From Unhealthy Smoke to Obnoxious Stench
February 29, 2004 (USA Today) - (Smyrna, Georgia)- For the second time in less than a year, Bull Dozer's Saloon avoided a fine for allowing patrons to smoke indoors. The bar successfully claimed that patrons had been smoking herbal cigarettes, which aren't covered by the state smoking ban. Police say a third case includes evidence that tobacco was being smoked.
Leveling the Playing (Time) Field
February 25, 2004 (USA Today) - (Lansing, Michigan) - A state lawmaker wants to change a law that governs alcohol sales on Sunday to make sure that business located in the Central time zone aren't disadvantaged. The law says sales cannot begin until noon Sunday but doesn't specify time zone. The bill would clarify the time as noon ET, so businesses in the Central time zone could open at 11 a.m.
To Protect and Shield (One's Own)
February 25, 2004 (USA Today) - (Providence, Rhode Island) - State police want to change a law designed to protect officers' rights. They say it shielded a trooper who should have been fired. Trooper Eve Marani was fired after she admitted to driving drunk and assaulting officers who tried to arrest her. She had had her dismissal reduced to a one-year, unpaid suspension by appealing to a panel established under the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights.
Too Frisky for Field Sobriety Test
February 24, 2004 (USA Today) - (Billings, Montana) - A jury acquitted an accused drunken driver seven months after an officer stopped the partially dressed man and his fiancee. Robert Niel Johnson III argued that embarrassment prevented him from carrying out field sobriety tests. His Fiancee testified that they had been celebrating their engagement in a Billings bar and she became "frisky" during the ride home. The couple has since married.
Buttocks Exposure Legalized in Akron
February 24, 2004 (USA Today) - (Akron, Ohio) - City Council is trying to clear up any confusion about the legality of baring bottoms. Members today will consider dropping the word "buttocks" from the definition of nudity in the city zoning code. That would bring Akron in line with the rest of Ohio. A bar owner has asked if thong-style coverings were legal. City code allows them only in a sexually-oriented business. "(The proposed revision would) simply mean that walking around with some or all of your buttocks exposed is not necessarily a crime.
Political Correctness at Florida Liquor Store
February 12, 2004 (USA Today) - (Pensacola Beach, Florida)- The owner of a liquor store named after Apache leader Geronimo said he's considering renaming the store. Owner Fred Simmons considers Geronimo's Spirits to be a tribute. But critics say the name is degrading to the warrior and medicine man and plays into the stereotype of Indians and drinking.
Unlike Virginia Bureaucrats, Delaware Supports Small Businesses
February 10, 2004 (USA Today) - (Milton, Delaware)- The local sewage treatment plant can no longer handle the wastewater from Dogfish Head brewery. Sam Caglione (sp), the owner, said he wants to keep the brewery in Milton but it will depend on whether the town upgrades the treatment plant. Caglione said other communities have been wooing his company with promises of free water hookup and other incentives.
21st Century Creeps into the South
February 10, 2004 (USA Today) - (Nashville, Tennessee) - Officials in several cities say they want to repeal a state law that prevents them from regulating smoking in restaurants, bars and other businesses. At least three bills pending in the Legislature would wipe the 1994 law from the books. Supporters of the bills include officials from Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville. Past efforts to regulate tobacco have met stiff opposition from the restaurant industry and farm groups.
In Arkansas - "We Don't Need No Stinkin Evidence" for DWI Conviction
February 10, 2004 (USA Today) - (Little Rock, Arkansas) - The state Supreme Court reimposed a third-offense drunken driving conviction against a man after the Court of Appeals had set it aside. Justices said prosecutors didn't need blood-alcohol evidence to prove that Justin Porter drove drunk. Porter wrecked his car and smelled of alcohol, but his blood-alcohol level was below the legal threshold when he was tested a half-hour after the accident.
Live Free or Die (by Administrative Penalties and Fines)
February 5, 2004 (USA Today) - (Concord, New Hampshire) - A bill introduced in the state House would increase penalties for DWI offenders if minors are passengers. It would set a minimum fine of $500 and a mandatory loss of license for up to two years for anyone convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a passenger under the age of 16.
City Exempts Own Beer-businesses from Closing Laws
January 21, 2004 (USA Today) - (Atlanta, Georgia) - Underground Atlanta, the downtown entertainment complex that already has later closing times than bars elsewhere in the city, is asking to remain open until 6 a.m. Other establishments must have last call at 2:30 a.m. and close by 3 a.m. Nightspots at Underground can pour until 4 a.m., an exemption granted to the city-owned complex by the Atlanta City Council.
Ice Beer Rescue
January 20, 2004 (Reuters) - (Moscow, Russia) - Russia has sent in the army to bolster a week-long struggle to rescue 10 tons of beer trapped under Siberian ice, Itar-Tass news agency said Tuesday. A lorry carrying the beer sank when trying to cross the frozen Irtysh river, and a rescue team of six divers, 10 workers and a modified T-72 tank from the emergencies ministry have so far failed to save the load. "The situation hasn't developed according to our ideal scenario," the deputy head of the Cherlaksky region, told the agency. Temperatures were around minus 27 degrees Celsius (minus 17 degrees Fahrenheit) in the region, near the Siberian city of Omsk and around 1,400 miles from Moscow. A week-long effort to cut a 100 yard corridor to the river bank to pull the truck to dry land failed when the vehicle was swept away from the rescue site, Tass said. But it said the soldiers were confident it would take them just a day to retrieve the beer.
Secondhand Smoke for Dummies Pays
January 9, 2004 (USA Today) - (Pierre, South Dakota) - A woman with asthma is entitled to worker's compensation benefits for breathing difficulties that were triggered by working in a smoky bar, the South Dakota Supreme Court ruled. The Veterans of Foreign Wars club in Eureka argued that Jennifer Cantalope should not get benefits because she kept her asthma secret when hired and her doctor urged her to stay away from smoky places.
Extremists Push Fourth Amendment Down Slippery Slope
January 6, 2004 (USA Today) - (Providence, Rhode Island) - Opponents of drunken driving say they will push this legislative session to close a loophole in state law. The activists say the law allows suspects stopped by police on suspicion of driving under the influence to refuse to take a chemical test. The refusal carries a civil penalty only, plus a minimum three-month license suspension for the first offense.
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