Is serial drunk driver to blame, or alcohol?

February 03, 2011

The tenth time seemed to be the charm for Thomas Meighan. He will, at last, serve prison time for his drunken-driving escapades ("Driver gets 13 years in fatal hit-and-run," Feb. 3).

Is Mr. Meighan himself to blame, or is it the judiciary system? This is a case where a man was a menace to society when he chose to get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

The pathetic truth behind this is that a legal drug, alcohol, led to the downfall of this man, and ultimately to his incarceration for the murder of Johns Hopkins undergraduate Miriam Frankl. Perhaps it's time that we reassess the consequences of allowing alcohol to be sold to and abused by many American adults. We collectively turn our heads from the oft-times deadly consequences of alcohol. I'm not referring solely to motor vehicle accidents. How many Americans have perished because alcohol, in one twisted way or another, was involved in their demise?

Jealous rages, on-the-job accidents, fights over petty matters, the list goes on. One visit to YouTube will bear out this point.

It has become increasingly evident that millions of Americans simply abuse the privilege of consuming abusing alcohol. Our children choose "party schools," universities and colleges that have reputations for gargantuan, alcohol-fueled parties. This isn't the way it was supposed to be, right?

Perhaps the time has come where we must debate the benefits versus the negatives of allowing alcohol sales and consumption in our great nation. This mind-set is due to the plain fact that many Americans simply "can't handle it."

Patrick R. Lynch, Nottingham

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