Letters to the Editor

MICHAEL SCABET: We license many activities, so why not alcohol?

We all must apply for a permit (or license) to participate in many activities sanctioned as appropriate by elected representatives.

This includes fishing, hunting, operating a motor vehicle on public roadways or cutting down certain trees on our own property. I certainly appreciate the requirement that those wishing to participate in these activities meet certain requirements.

As a health care professional with many years experience, I can assure the reader that I have seen my share of patients with alcohol-related problems. Everyone has experienced (directly or indirectly) serious problems related to the consumption of alcohol. Not a day goes by when we are not inundated with newsworthy, alcohol-related traffic accidents or criminal activity information.

I understand that alcohol is big business, and I am not opposed to the consumption of alcohol. I am a consumer myself. Why can't we require an annual permit for alcohol consumption, with the cost of the permit roughly equal to the amount of revenue that would be lost from those not qualifying to purchase this commodity? Why would providers of this product oppose this?

If you are behind on court-mandated restitution, child support, traffic fines or other items of this nature, why should you be able to purchase alcohol simply because you are old enough? If you have been convicted of a DUI, you should not be able to legally purchase alcohol for a court-defined period of time.

My hope is that those who are responsible alcohol consumers would not mind this requirement.