Friday, September 6, 2013

Why I Think Discouraging Alcohol Consumption Among College Students Might Be A Good Idea

The Blaze has the mugshot of a college girl who attempted to run down the field at a college football game.  At arrest, she had a .341% blood alcohol level -- or more than four times the legal DUI limit.  The mugshot, as tragic as it is (tattoos, of course), is nothing compared to the picture of the squeaky clean policeman apparently trying to make sure that she stays vertical.

Adding to the general depravity of it all, she tweeted afterwards:
“Blew a .341 in jail,” she added, saying “I’m going to get .341 tattooed on me because its so epic.”
I love the comments over there, most of the form, "Her parents must be so proud."  You have to wonder how much student loan debt she ran up to pay for the tattoos and the alcohol.  She's a good argument against any sort of general relief from student loan debt.  I'm sure that she isn't the average -- but I fear that she isn't completely unique, either.

Prohibition was a disaster.  But the fact is that lots of college kids are doing stuff this stupid and potentially life-threatening every night in this country -- and that's also a disaster.


  1. I think that we need training in the correct indulgence in vices as well as virtues. We play like we train. So abstinence and prohibition lead to BINGE use. So when the activity is no longer unavailable binging takes place.
    You may substitute drugs, sex, or alcohol, as well as your drug of choice. In my case carbs and diet coke. :>)

  2. You know you've had too many when you blood alcohol level exceeds the MLB batting average.

  3. And by a wide margin - even compared to the 1920s batting stats.

    League average rarely exceeded .270 after 1939. I blame Hitler.

  4. To blow a 341 and still be able to stand up takes years and years of drinking, or a wildly malfunctioning meter.

    Typically folks at 300 are barely rousable, and by 350 they're pretty much in a coma. 341 is, for normal folk, way beyond the blackout/lost-time phase.

    Hard core drunks can drink their way to a tolerance whereby at 340 they can not only remember what they did, they can pretty much function. Such tolerance in young person would have likely required that they start early.

    (Had an hour lecture today on just this topic as part of my every-three-years thirty hour EMT refresher. Instructor was a drug and alcohol CSW in a local ER.)

  5. The Comedian: I was going to say much the same thing in response to macweave's very logical suggestion. Someone who can even stand up at .341% BAC is a hardcore alcoholic -- and almost certainly has been drinking since childhood.

    I raised kids in an area that would seem to conform to the "train them in how to correctly indulge their vices" approach: Sonoma County, California. Parents bought beer and pot for their middle schoolers as a reward for good grades, and made sure that they could drink and smoke pot at home, so that they wouldn't be going somewhere dangerous to do these things. And I can't see that it helped one bit.

    I talked to drug rehab counselors who were helping 2nd graders deal with their marijuana addiction problems. My daughter called 911 when one of her friends at about 15 passed out from alcohol poisoning. This was not the first time that emergency crews had rolled for this girl passed out from drinking heavily. And the reaction of the mother, who was an MD? She thought it was funny. (Oh yes: the 15 year old had a chauffeur.)

    There was a lot of date rape going in our community, by high school and sometimes younger, because intoxicated middle schoolers were considered acceptable by parents who wanted to be "cool."

    I think the theory that macweave espouses is very logical, and might work for responsible adults (all 10% of them, when I feeling cynical). But human beings don't seem to have enough logic in how they deal with intoxicants for this to work, in my experience.

  6. Regarding tattoos: