By Mike M. Ahlers, CNN
updated 6:36 AM EDT, Wed May 15, 2013
Washington (CNN) — A common benchmark in the United States for determining when a driver is legally drunk is not doing enough to prevent alcohol-related crashes that kill about 10,000 people each year and should be made more restrictive, transportation safety investigators say.
The National Transportation Safety Board recommended on Tuesday that all 50 states adopt a blood-alcohol content (BAC) cutoff of 0.05 compared to the 0.08 standard on the books today and used by law enforcement and the courts to prosecute drunk driving. Full Story on CNN.com >>>
Saturday, April 27 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. The event runs from 10:00am until 2:00pm.
If you have unwanted prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicines, this is a great opportunity to safely discard them.
Properly disposing of medicines is important to human health and environmental protection.
April’s designation as Alcohol Awareness Month is the perfect time for The Century Council to share our commitment to responsibility – but we need your help. “Join the Conversation” is our theme for April. Join us to ignite one million conversations. Join us to fight drunk driving, underage drinking, and binge drinking. Join us and start a conversation about alcohol this April: parents and kids, college students and administrators, responsible adults, law enforcement and elected officials, and so on. Join us to save lives and keep our kids alcohol-free. Full Story…
April 22-23, 2013
Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa
An Official Walt Disney World® Resort
Join Lyla Hernandez as she discusses the
Institute of Medicine’s framework for assessing
the value of community-based prevention
To improve our nation’s health, greater emphasis must be placed on efforts to keep
people healthy as opposed to treating them once they become ill. Prevention, which
refers to helping people avoid getting sick or identifying diseases early so, is one of the
best ways to help Americans live longer and healthier lives. Determining the value of
community based prevention has proven difficult as preventing morbidity and mortality
requires immediate investments with benefits that might not be realized for many
years. To address this issue, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) developed a framework for
assessing the value of community-based prevention policies and wellness strategies.
Come learn about the major findings and recommendations from IOM and how to apply
this framework to your community-based prevention efforts.
Lyla M. Hernandez has
Reports from her completed studies include
Register Now! Take advantage of the early bird rate!
Sponsorships opportunities are now available.
Visit the website: CommunityHealthandWellnessConference.org
If you’re wondering whether it’s OK to have an occasional alcoholic drink, check with your health care provider. A small amount of alcohol—such as a single beer or glass of wine with dinner—is fine for some people. On the other hand, drinking too much alcohol is harmful for anyone. Among the health risks are liver disease, various cancers, and high blood pressure. Drinking to excess may also increase your risk for falls and motor vehicle accidents.
If you have COPD, drinking alcohol may slow your breathing and make it harder to cough up mucus. Alcohol also fills you up without providing much in the way of nutrition. It may interact harmfully with certain medicines, such as oral steroids. If you choose to drink alcohol, be sure to discuss it first with your provider and to always drink in moderation. Experts recommend no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women and anyone older than 65. Full Story…
Alcohol poisoning occurs when a high level of alcohol in present in an individual’s bloodstream caused by excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol poisoning is typically accompanied by drunkenness, and often results in vomiting, semi consciousness and possibly unconsciousness. In extreme cases, it also can lead to death. While alcohol poisoning can be fatal, it can be prevented. Follow these steps on how to prevent alcohol poisoning.
Drink alcohol in moderation. Know your limit. Many doctors recommend that women consume no more than 1 drink a day, and that men have no more than 2 drinks a day. Because alcohol poisoning is based partially on body composition, smaller individuals cannot consume as much alcohol as individuals with larger frames. Before you start drinking, decide how many drinks you’re going to have and stick with that plan.
Eat food before drinking alcohol. The alcohol absorption rate is much faster once the alcohol reaches your small intestine. Previously consumed food will block the way for alcohol to reach the small intestine, where it will be absorbed into the bloodstream quicker. Consume food to decrease your blood alcohol content. Studies show that individuals who refrained from eating food prior to drinking alcohol, registered peak blood alcohol content levels in 30 minutes to 2 hours. In individuals who consumed food prior to drinking alcohol, the peak blood alcohol content levels were reached in 1 to 6 hours.
Choose drinks that have less alcohol content. All alcoholic drinks have different levels of alcohol present in them. Alcoholic drinks like vodka, rum or brandy have higher alcohol content than beer or wine. Drinking higher alcohol content products will increase your chances of getting alcohol poisoning faster rather than drinking beverages with lower alcohol content. For example, a glass of beer has approximately 4% alcohol, while a glass of wine has approximately 11.5% alcohol. Understand alcohol absorption rates. Alcohol is absorbed into the body when the alcohol concentration is 10% to 30%. Alcohol content of less than 10% has a lower concentration gradient, so the absorption rate is slower. Alcohol content of more than 30% has a higher concentration gradient and a tendency to irritate the gastrointestinal tract, which causes the alcohol to stay in the digestive system longer and leads to an increased risk of alcohol poisoning.
December has been designated National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness about the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Click here to read the proclamation from President Barack Obama.
Show your support for law enforcement and for MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. Tie a red ribbon on your antenna or affix your window decal as a pledge to drive safe, sober and buckled up during the holidays and throughout the year.
Red ribbons and red ribbon window decals are available by contacting your local MADD affiliate.
During this time of year when drunk driving crashes are most prevalent, MADD aims to deter individuals from driving drunk and encourage them to plan ahead and designate a sober driver, or arrange another safe ride home, before embarking on their holiday festivities. MADD’s Give the Gift of a Designated Driver campaign is designed to encourage people to volunteer to be a designated sober driver for their friends and family during the holiday season.
Click here to download a coupon that says “Tonight, I’ll be DD.”
In addition to use on high-risk drunk drivers, the bracelets can also be used on parents seeking custody or visitation with children if a judge believes alcohol misuse is at issue.
To-date 1,400 CAM devices, known as SCRAM, have been used on offenders as part of the state’s DWI sentencing laws. According to Steve Parker, a regional manager for Alcohol Monitoring Systems, the company that makes SCRAM, Laura’s Law essentially extends the period of use, previously limited to 60 days, and expands the types of cases for which CAM can be ordered. “This level of monitoring not only helps courts increase community safety from the highest-risk drivers on the road, it also can help individuals who are struggling with addiction to change course, and even exit the revolving door of the criminal justice system,” says Parker.
SCRAM includes an ankle bracelet, worn 24/7, that tests perspiration 48 times a day to measure for alcohol consumption. According to AMS, 99.4% of the offenders in North Carolina they’ve monitored each day have a completely Sober Day. “That means no drinking, and no drinking and driving,” says Parker.
Parker, along with AMS service providers across the state who help manage SCRAM programs at the local level, has been working closely with North Carolina Department of Public Safety officials since July to implement a streamlined referral and reporting process statewide. According to Parker, the CAM program is offender-pay, meaning the offenders themselves pay all or a significant portion of the daily fee. “Each of our service providers works with officials in their location to facilitate the monitoring and to provide appropriate support for qualifying offenders who may be unable to pay for their monitoring,” says Parker.
The new law takes effect just as President Obama signs a decree officially calling December Impaired Driving Prevention Month, designed to heighten awareness of drunk driving, particularly during the dangerous holiday season.
Source: Exigence Group
An alcohol testing program that was implemented six years ago has reduced driving under the influence arrests by more than 10 percent and arrests pertaining to domestic violence by 9 percent in South Dakota, according to a study appearing in the American Journal of Public Health.
The 24/7 Sobriety Project, a statewide anti-alcohol abuse healthcare wellness program, requires those who have been convicted of an alcohol-related crime to either take a breathalyzer test two times a day, or wearing a bracelet that tracks their alcohol consumption. If the breathalyzer tests are skipped or failed, or the bracelet shows that the wearer has engaged in heavy drinking, the individual is sent to jail for one or two days.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 10,000 individuals died in motor vehicle accidents in which intoxicated drivers were involved. This means alcohol was a factor in one-third of all car accident deaths. The agency also reported that intimate partner violence accounted for 10 percent of homicides in the U.S. that same year.
“The South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety Project is reducing both repeat DUI and domestic abuse arrests at the county-level,” said lead researcher Beau Kilmer, senior policy researcher at nonprofit research firm RAND. “The results suggest that frequent alcohol testing with swift, certain and modest sanctions for violations can reduce problem drinking and improve public health outcomes.”
More than 17,000 people across South Dakota are taking part in the program – which adds up to 10 percent of men over the age of 18 in certain parts of South Dakota. It has yet to be shown whether the 24/7 Sobriety Project significantly reduces traffic accidents overall, but representatives from the RAND organization still want to investigate whether the initiative can work in other states and in non-rural settings.
Courts clamp down on Hardcore Drunk Drivers during the holidays
DENVER, Nov. 17, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ — New data on repeat, high-risk drunk drivers ordered to be monitored continuously for drinking shows that violations increase an average of 54% on Thanksgiving Day. The holiday, now considered one of the deadliest for alcohol-related fatalities by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is second only to New Year’s Eve/Day, when violations jump 62%.
The numbers are consistent with data from a number of organizations, including the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, which estimates that two to three times more people die as a result of alcohol-involved crashes during the holidays than any other time during the year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that 1,200 people will be killed and 25,000 will be injured between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day in traffic accidents caused by alcohol.
The data was compiled by Alcohol Monitoring Systems (AMS), which has monitored more than 258,000 Hardcore Drunk Drivers for compliance with court-mandated sobriety. The company has launched their annual public awareness campaign, Sober Days for the Holidays, to educate courts and communities about the increased risks their data trending shows. “Those drinking violations are for offenders who know they are being tested, who know they will be caught and who know there will be consequences, possibly even jail time,” says Mike Iiams, chairman and CEO of AMS. “Now imagine what offenders who aren’t monitored are doing.”
Courts clamp down from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day AMS reports that the trend each year is for courts to increase supervision during the holidays by enforcing Sober Days, which are defined as a 24-hour period where continuous testing confirms no drinking and no attempt to circumvent testing. Company data shows that the average number of offenders monitored daily jumps during the holidays, as courts and agencies work to contain the risks that alcohol and the holidays pose to communities.
The AMS technology is known as SCRAMx, and it tests an offender’s perspiration 48 times a day to measure for drinking. The testing frequency is what allows courts to confirm Sober Days for the highest-risk offenders.
According to The Century Council, 75% of Hardcore Drunk Drivers are assessed as alcohol-dependent and cause 57% of fatal accidents related to alcohol. “Holidays mean family stress, work stress, financial stress—and they all hit simultaneously,” says Iiams. “Add an endless list of social temptations, and someone with a drinking problem, who naturally turns to alcohol to cope with stress, is going to struggle this time of year.”
According to Iiams, in 2011, courts in 48 states supervised 598,077 Sober Days for Hardcore Drunk Drivers between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. The Century Council defines a Hardcore Drunk Drivers as those who drive at high BACs (0.15 or above), do so repeatedly as demonstrated by having more than one drunk driving arrest, and are highly resistant to changing their behavior despite previous sanctions, treatment, or education. Iiams says that even with the jump in drinking violations, which averages 24% over the entire 41 day holiday season, in 2011, on average 99.37% of the drunk drivers they monitored were completely sober on any given day. “That means testing confirmed that 99.37% of those high-risk offenders were not drinking, and they were not drinking and driving,” he says.
AMS encourages everyone to make a plan for getting home safely before you leave, rather than deciding how to get home after you’ve been drinking. In addition, law enforcement agencies throughout the country will be running roadside sobriety checkpoints beginning Monday, including the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign organized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
About Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS) Established in 1997, AMS is the world’s largest provider of Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) technology. AMS manufactures SCRAMx, which uses non-invasive transdermal analysis to monitor alcohol consumption and integrates home detention monitoring into a single anklet. SCRAMx fully automates the alcohol testing and reporting process, providing courts and community corrections agencies with the ability to continuously monitor alcohol offenders, increase offender accountability and assess compliance with sentencing requirements and treatment guidelines. AMS employs 126 people across the U.S. and is a privately-held company headquartered in Littleton, Colorado.