Thursday, September 25, 2008

Falk's Dane County Alcohol Intervention Program, Statewide Attitude Adjustment Needed

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk has put 2009 county budget money behind her one-person campaign to change the alcohol glorification culture surrounding us.

Good for her: It would be great if Scott Walker, the Milwaukee County Exec, would do the same, but he's more interested in posing for Harley ride holy pictures, or raising his staff's salaries and carrying water for talk radio than he is in truly governing.

It's been a tragic year on state roads, as OWI fatalities are up while national trends are down.

Milwaukee recently recorded yet another gruesome OWI homicide - - this time, on 1st and National Avenue just south of downtown (and, by the way, will the investigation see if the driver, a now-third-time OWI offender, was served to intoxication at the establishment from which she was reportedly ejected before she drove to the crash scene?)

So far the political will do so has been lacking.

In an earlier case, the Milwaukee District Attorney's office, citing the bar personnel's cooperation, chose not to charge a City of Franklin establishment after a repeat OWI offender drank heavily there before killing two pedestrians in a high-profile and tragic Christmas day crash.

Closer to home for Falk, the driver in the horrific triple-fatality on Midvale Blvd. in Madison this August was revealed by the Capital Times today to have tested nearly twice the legal limit for OWI.

As Falk has repeatedly said, the Wisconsin culture helps to enable drunken behavior on the roads, at sporting events and other situations that need not be alcohol-fueled.

The proof is all around us - - media are constantly presenting readers and viewers with gory accounts of motorcycle crashes, car wrecks, and dead bicyclists, all at the hands of various drunks and motorists who are under the influence of medications.

When pulled over after leaving the scene of the 1st and National Ave. crash, the alleged perpetrator's car had the victim's purse still entangled in its crushed front end.

Some people manage to see humor in Wisconsin's widespread problem with alcohol.

When the City of Waukesha legalized the sale of beer at gas stations, despite a drunk driving problem so severe that Waukesha County has a special alcohol offenders' court, one area blogger posted this response on his blog:


Give credit to Falk for trying to confront and change such entrenched ignorance.

She could use more help from the rest of us.


Anonymous said...

Many times, addictions are not just limited to one substance and this is why there is something known as a drug alcohol intervention. Your family and friends take an active role in helping you see the reality of your substance abuse and offering you the help you need, but it is focuses on both your drug and alcohol abuse instead of just one substance.

James Rowen said...

Right. Which is what I like about Falk's plan. It takes more than route to problem identification and then solving.

tpain said...

Drug intervention or an alcohol intervention can’t be a generic thing, or an assembly-line operation Intervention services can only be successful if they are administered with expertise, and with empathy. Alcohol Intervention technique focuses on helping those who don’t admit their need for help.

James Rowen said...
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