Monday, August 24, 2009

Our Modest Proposal

While the first post outlines our purpose and views, and should be read, some folks may still be confused about details. Here is precisely what we at Twenty-One Debunked (a subsidiary of the True Spirit of America Party) propose, in concrete terms, to further the cause of justice and help reduce America's drinking problem:

  1. Lower the drinking age to 18, period. No compromises, except perhaps to have the age for kegs/cases/other very large quantities be 20 or 21.
  2. Raise the beer tax and liquor tax to its 1951 and 1991 inflation-adjusted values, respectively, and make the beer tax proportional to alcohol content. (No tax hike for microbrews.) Use the funds to pay for education, treatment, and DUI enforcement.
  3. Crack down hard on DUI, increase penalties, lower BAC limit to 0.05%. Have graduated (but stiff) penalties based on BAC, with serious jail time for high BAC offenders. Lose license forever on second offense above 0.08, regardless of age. No more excuses.
  4. Keep Zero Tolerance age at 21, and/or make it for anyone who has had a license for less than 5 years, regardless of age.
  5. Increase honest alcohol education, which should begin long before 18.
Lower-priority measures that we support include the following:
  • Restrict alcohol advertising to no more than what is allowed for tobacco.
  • Regulation of alcohol outlet density.
  • Price floors on off-premises sales.
  • Free or low-cost taxi service to and from bars and/or improved late night public transportation.
  • Increased alcohol treatment.
  • Make driver licenses tougher to get and easier to lose, and the road test much tougher.
  • Make it a federal crime to drive drunk across state lines, punishable by many years in federal prison.
What we do NOT support:
  1. Special restrictions on 18-20 year olds that do not apply to those over 21 (except perhaps on bulk quantities of alcohol) or any kind of strings attached, including "drinking licenses".
  2. Dram shop and social host laws of any kind.
  3. Loopholes that allow DUI offenders to get off easily (e.g. plea bargain for "reckless driving").
  4. Harsh criminal penalties for underage drinkers of any age.
  5. Blue laws.
  6. Public drunkenness laws based solely on BAC or the mere fact of drinking.*
  7. Laws that completely prohibit parents from giving their own children alcohol.
  8. Any laws that require that the Constitution be violated in order to adequately enforce them.**
*We do support laws against drunk violence and disorderly conduct, and tougher enforcement thereof.
**We do not consider implied consent laws to be against the constitution, and have no problem with stiff penalties for test refusals for drivers (but no one else).

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