A homeowner in Waukesha for 20 years, Steve is president of the Waukesha Dog Parks Organization and enjoys motorcycling, fishing and staying on top of politics.
I've read heaps of news items and editorials about how drunken driving laws should be toughened. Excuse me, but while that is needed, we need to also consider a proactive measure that closes the gate before the cows get out of the pasture, so to speak.
We have created the precedent for it, so nobody should be shocked when it is proposed. We have begun changing things in our culture. It is now time to make a bold step forward in continuing these changes.
Movies reflect culture. It is arguable that they may create it. Movies from earlier years glamorized smoking and drinking. Offices had dry bars and an offer of a drink to a visitor was a polite and friendly gesture. Homes also promoted drinking. Many new "executive" homes feature a full blown wet bar right in the living room. Great for entertaining guests before they head home playing "Russian Roulette" with our lives. Once while having fixed a heating problem in a big house on the north shore area of Milwaukee county, the owner asked me "what do you drink?", assuming that I drank hard liquor. He generously wanted to give me a bottle from his vast selection of distilled beverages. When Pat and I got married, one of the things that showed we were now adults was assembling an assortment of liquor and the items for mixing various drinks.
When I grew up in Milwaukee, it seemed there was a tavern on every corner. Perhaps a good thing. They were walking distance from home. As I played with my friends on 44th street, a neighbor would walk by nearly every night babbling some kind of wisdom to us. He walked the half a mile back and forth to the taverns around Hampton and Hopkins and never was a threat to anyone but himself.
We have banned smoking in many places. We've come close to banning it in all business and even in outdoor places. Usually the reason is the dangers of second hand smoke and other less lethal reasons.
It is time to modify our culture of drinking alcohol. I'm no tea totaler. I've home-brewed beer in the past and enjoy a beer or glass of wine with a meal. I think we all know the legal limits of evidence of intoxication is .08. But how many drinks is that?
A little bit of Google searching on the Internet show various devices for determining blood alcohol level. Disposable breath analyzers are available for around $3.00 per test. Less than the price of a drink in most cases.
Issuance of a liquor license should be contingent on always having an adequate supply of these for use by customers. Any store selling liquor should be required to market these too. The time has come to stop guessing and not tolerate both the drunks and those that facilitate it. This would be one way of beginning the culture change.