It was just a few days ago that media published the jaw-dropping and documented financial cost that binge drinking takes from taxpayers and the economy:
Excessive alcohol use in binge-drinking Wisconsin costs the state $6.8 billion a year, and taxpayers are picking up more than 40% of the tab, according to a report released Tuesday...Yet it will again take added policing at public expense to cope with St. Patrick's Day drinking - - a holiday that now extends over two weekends, with pub crawls.
Wisconsin has the highest binge drinking rate (25.6%) in the nation.
Last year's events were marred by a drowning death.
The so-called pre-St. Patrick's pub crawl this year got its share of attention, though I think this message from a Milwaukee Police Department spokesman could have been better focused:
"If you want to come down here and get intoxicated to the point to where you don't know who or where you are, that's your right to do that but have somebody along with you that's responsible for you," Milwaukee police Capt. Stephen Basting said.No doubt there will be more coverage as the weekend of cheap drinks rolls on sober admonitions about personal safety and friends' responsibilities - - blended with images of funny hats and green beer and "whoo-hooing" young people sending the opposite message.
Anybody see a contradiction?