Emily Harris, like most of us, loved finding bargains. Having some free time, this young Alaskan chicken-hypnotist-cyclist jumped on her $1,800 bicycle and pedaled off to shop for bargains. Journeying through the streets of Edinburgh, Scotland took Emily past a Charity Clothes Shop. Thinking to find something she could add to her wardrobe, she jumped off the bike she rides in her circus act, parked it just inside the shop where, according to a Reuters Reporter, she leaned it rather discreetly against a mannequin.
Unfortunately, before Emily could finish her bargain shopping, a shopkeeper mistakenly sold her expensive vehicle to a lucky customer for $15. Emily lost her bicycle, found herself without transportation, and received nothing in return … simply a profuse apology. Her bargain search had suddenly taken the shape of a terribly “bad bargain.”
Equally bad for American families like my own was the Health Report relayed by Dr. Phillip Lee, which he delivered to the United States Congress while serving as Assistant Secretary of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Nearly one-fourth of all persons admitted to general hospitals have alcohol problems,” concluded Secretary Lee, “or are undiagnosed alcoholics being treated for the consequences of their drinking.”
Alcohol consumption remains the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. It becomes a major risk factor in treating every injury and every trauma. Heavy alcohol consumption by Americans threatens to provide an exceptionally bad bargain potentially affecting the birth of a vast multitude of our children. Medical authorities describe this capability of alcohol as “teratogenic.” The verb form “terato” is highly suggestive :“a combining form meaning monster, (or) monstrosity.” Webster’s New World Dictionary, (Second Edition, 1970), describes teratogenic as an agent like a chemical or disease “that causes malformation of a fetus.”
In other words, alcohol consumption creates the potential capability of congenital defects, growth retardation, and learning disabilities among prenatal infants. This significantly increases the risk factor within the family circle for more than seventy-five million American family members currently affected by alcoholism. It ups the ante while offering no bargains!
Malik Sealy and Kevin Garnett discovered this the hard way when they were young members of the Minnesota Timber Wolves basketball franchise. Their worst scenario came while returning from Garnett’s twenty-fourth birthday celebration. Souksangouane Phengsene, a forty-four year-old impaired driver from Minneapolis, smashed head-on into Garnet’s Range Rover, while driving the wrong way on southbound Highway 100.
Sealy died on impact! The Prosecution charged Phengsene with choosing to personally drive his car although impaired. The Judge found him guilty and gave him the maximum sentence of four years in prison, while still determining whether or not to deport Phengsene back home to Laos.
Alcohol is a depressant. Beginning with that first drink, the consumer’s inhibitions gradually decrease. There is, however, no legally defined point at which a person becomes legally unaccountable for drunken behavior (Dui). Consequently, more than ten states have already slammed the door on the “too drunk” defense. In attempting to clear the legal fog. Additional states continue to pass laws that define consumers of alcohol as guilty by reason of choosing to drive.
As this relatively new law becomes more widely used, it eliminates virtually all hope of defense by reason of intoxication. It correctly categorizes consumption as an obvious personal choice. It makes our highways a much safer place on which to drive and it accurately defines drinking and driving as anything but a good bargain.
From Warner’s World, this is walkingwithwarner.blogspot.com