April Is Alcohol Awareness Month 

 May 8, 2015

By  LMW Attorneys

Alcohol is Affecting our Youth and Seniors

Since 1987, April has been designated as Alcohol Awareness month by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) for the purpose of increasing public awareness on alcoholism and alcohol related issues.

This year’s theme is: “For the Health of It: Early Education on Alcoholism and Addiction”. The focus is to provide kids with education for a better understanding of the impact that alcohol can have on their lives.

Alcohol is the #1 drug of choice for youth in America and is the #1 killer of young people because of overdose, problem behaviors, violence, suicide and traffic fatalities.

The reduction of underage drinking is critical for securing a healthy future for our youth and requires all of us – parents, schools, leaders, government agencies, retailers to work together.

The connection between alcohol and crime has not been the subject of public attention like drinking and driving. Crimes of domestic abuse and violence, robbery, assault and sexual assault are many times related to alcohol abuse.

Alcohol is a factor in 40% of all violent crimes committed today.

Statistics showing the correlation between alcohol and crime are quoted here from the NCADD Fact Sheet on Alcohol and Crime.

  • An estimated 32% of fatal car accidents involve an intoxicated driver. Drinking and driving is not a good match.
  • While driving, the brain needs to be able to process countless data. Alcohol affects attention and the ability to make quick decisions.
  • Despite the crusade to increase awareness regarding the dangers of drinking and driving, the combination continues.
  • Nearly 13,000 people are killed each year in alcohol-related accidents. Hundreds of thousands more are injured.
  • Alcohol-related crashes cost American taxpayers over $100 billion.
    Over 1.4 million arrests for DWI each year.
  • Drivers under age 21 are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle with any level of alcohol in their system.
  • Make no mistake, driving while intoxicated is a crime. If you are convicted, you will face a substantial fine, possible license revocation, higher insurance premiums and possible incarceration.
  • Over 86.5% of all alcohol-related deaths are pedestrian accidents, falls, fires, homicides, alcohol-overdose, suicides and health-related deaths.

CABs and AEDs

Caffeinated alcoholic beverages (CABs) or Alcohol energy drinks (AEDs) contain alcohol and also include caffeine and other stimulants. The tall, narrow cans are popular drinks among teens and they carry teen friendly names along with large amounts of sugar and flavorings. A typical can has as much caffeine as a large cup of coffee along with additives that can speed up the central nervous system. Drinking alcohol and energy drinks together is trendy and is also very risky. Marketed to youth through ‘new media’ campaigns and strategies using youth-oriented imagery , these new alcohol energy drinks have high alcohol content sometime as high as 12% compare to 5% for a can of beer. A major concern is that mixing energy drinks with alcohol can lead to ‘wide-awake drunkenness’ in which caffeine masks the feeling of being drunk but does not decrease the actual alcohol-related impairment.

Double The Risk: Wake Forest University School of Medicine researchers found that students who mixed alcohol and energy drinks had double the risk of being hurt or injured, requiring medical attention, driving with an intoxicate driver, being taken advantage of sexually or taking advantage of another sexually. A lead researcher explained, “Students whose motor skills, visual reaction times and judgment are impaired by alcohol may not perceive that they are intoxicated as readily when they’re also ingesting a stimulant.”

Concerned parents and law-enforcement officials want tighter regulations on the drinks and many have called for an ongoing ban on such products. Be sure to educate your children and grandchildren about the dangers of these drinks.

Alcohol is more likely to be a factor in violence, where the attacker and the victim know each other. Two-thirds of victims who were attacked by an intimate (including a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend) reported that alcohol had been involved and only 31% of victimizations by strangers are alcohol-related. 70% of alcohol-related incidents of violence occur in the home with greatest frequency at 11:00 pm. 20% of these incidents involve the use of a weapon other than hands, fists or feet.

Growing older brings many changes in lifestyle. Aging brings physical pain and loss of mobility and can be stressful and lonely. Many turn to alcohol to numb the pain. Alcohol and prescription drugs among adults 60 and older is one of the fastest growing health problems facing this nation. Yet, the situation remains underestimated, underdiagnosed and undertreated.

Alcohol and drug problems among older adults is something that is not talked about, dealt with or even treated. Alcohol or drug problems among older people are mistaken for dementia, depression or other problems related to aging. Older adults are more likely to experience loneliness after the death of a spouse. Grieving is normal but is often accompanied by increased alcohol use. Feelings of isolation also lead to drinking more.

According to the American Geriatrics Society, people over 60 are engaged in risky drinking if they consume more than seven alcoholic drinks per week or more than three drinks on a single day.

In the Community

The Second Annual Law Enforcement Officers Family Fun Day presented by Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, P.A. and a long list of local business sponsors, which can be viewed at www.leofunday.com, was held at the FOP Lodge #29 on Saturday, April 25th.

Nearly 500 meals were served by Hungry Harry’s BBQ and over 675 people passed through the gate to attend this event which is intended to thank Pasco County’s Law Enforcement Officers and their families for their service to our community.

The focus on family fun included a visit from 3 characters from the movie, Frozen. Olaf, Elsa and Anna were a huge hit and many pictures were taken! Pony rides, face painting, water slide, bouncy houses, etc. were among the many activities to entertain little and big kids. Door prizes of a week’s get-away at a vacation condo near Disney donated by the Laportes and a gas grille from Lowe’s were special surprises. Adams Arms, an Odessa weapons manufacturer donated a brand new AR-15 which was raffled for almost $1,100.00.

The Sheriff’s Office had a SWAT vehicle, motorcycle and helicopter on display for the kids to explore and get pictures taken. A K-9 demonstration wowed the crowd as they saw the dog in action. The Sheriff’s Mounted Posse also had their horses there. Before the event ended a memorial and celebration of life was held through a balloon release in honor of Trooper Chelsea Richard, who was killed in May 2014 in the line of duty. Amazing Grace was played to a tearful crowd by Robert Larcom and Trooper Richard’s 5-year-old son, Clayton, directed the release of the balloons with a big “GO!”


Similar to last year, after the expenses for this event are taken care of, the remaining funds are donated to the Pasco Fallen Officer Memorial and Benefit Foundation. Pasco is the only county in Florida with no permanent memorial dedicated to its Fallen Officers.

With all the controversy that surrounds law enforcement in our country these days, it is important to remember that these dedicated men and women put their lives on the line every day in service to our community to keep us safe and secure.

Now we begin the plans for the 3rd Annual LEO Family Fun Day! Anyone interested in sponsoring this event with us can call our office.

See more pictures of the event here: