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Binge Drinking Laws across the US
August 2, 2010
Chris M. Alexander
There is a surprising lack of binge drinking laws in the United States. Binge drinking is when people drink excessively in a short period of time. There is no agreed upon textbook definition on how many drinks one must drink for episode of drinking to be called binge drinking or a certain time period. However in the United States, binge drinking often means drinking five or more average drinks for men (four or more drinks for women) in sixty minutes for an average adult. One can see the obvious dilemma with this definition it is vague and there are many variables that are not considered.
Passing Tough Binge Drinking Laws in the United States Can Be Tricky
But how does a college student attaching a hose to a keg and attempting to suck it dry fit into the above definition? I think we can all agree that this should be considered binge drinking, yes? However, consider the variables in the results of such actions and you can see the dilemma and this can probably explain why there is currently no binge drinking laws per se in any of the 50 states. Most legislators being lawyers can see that it would be nearly impossible to convict anyone of this crime in a court of law and with the affect of such drinking only causing harm to the DWI offenders it would be tough constitutionally for any such law to stand. It would be like passing laws to limit cholesterol consumption to curb heart disease or binge smoking.
Binge Drinking Problem Can Not Be Cured By Laws
It seems that targeting the problem of binge drink cannot be solved by magic bullet laws that specifically address the issue. The only states that have shown marginal success are ones the pass multiple legislations that focus on the purchase of large quantities of alcohol.
Laws Targeting the Supply Side of Binge Drinking Most Affective
A report from the government agency the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) and an Ivy league schools public health organization says that states with laws that target peripheral environmental issues like low priced alcohol, special promotions, and the number of drinking establishments and alcohol retail outlets have had some success in lowering risky drinking in college students. However none of the laws specifically prohibit binge drinking or even mention binge drink because of the obvious issues stated above.
Societal Changes Must Be In Place for Change in the Status of Binge Drinking
It seems the only way to limit this sort of behavior will take social change on a societal level and then after the attitude of society changes in regard to drinking in general then this problem can be reduced.
An Anti-Drinking Prevention Strategy Will Reduce Binge Drinking
So laws that target drinking in general will have more of an effect on binge drinking than laws that are aimed at binge drinking specifically which are non-existent in America today. With this in mind the CDC recommends that states start effective anti-drinking prevention strategies that will have an affect for binge drinking, like increasing state alcohol taxes, enforcing minimum legal drinking-age laws, and enforcing laws prohibiting alcohol sales to already intoxicated persons.
Tags: Binge Drinking, Drinking Laws
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Monday, August 2nd, 2010 at
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