Letter to the Editor
Re: “MADD’s new commercial not truthful,” editorial, June 8
Often, I am amazed at the battles organizations choose to engage in. I was surprised, however, to read your editorial regarding MADD’s campaign against underage drinking. I believe the headline to be a bit misleading, as the statement, “Alcohol before 21 can diminish a child’s potential” is true – it can. If the statement substituted the word “will” for “can,” you might have had a story.
If we step back for a moment and look at all the wonderful things MADD has accomplished, I think many would agree that making an example out of an organization comprised primarily of victims and the families of those affected by impaired drivers is a bit below the belt. I am not saying that any group is immune from scrutiny, but the statement made in this instance is completely subject to interpretation.
Many balked at the Surgeon General when the push for health advisories on tobacco products arose. I think of the countless lives that could have been saved if people had heeded some of the warnings when they were first made available, and how I might have thought twice about lighting up the cigarettes I took from my mother’s purse. The fact is, whether it’s tobacco, drugs, or alcohol, young people learn their habits from the ones who came before them, and if there is the slightest possibility that something is harmful to them, we have a responsibility to protect them.
Now, I agree that alcohol has played its role in the foundation of our culture. Alcoholic beverages have been consumed since the dawn of civilization, and this consumption will continue regardless of its effects on the public’s health. But let us look at the big picture here. MADD is a group with the sole concern of reducing the amount of people killed or injured by impaired drivers. They are not attempting to re-establish prohibition, nor are they passing judgment on those of us who enjoy a cold beer after mowing the lawn or a glass of wine with dinner. They are attempting to educate the most impressionable group of individuals on this planet: youth.
Let’s give them a break.
Tom Bobrowski is a Drug Recognition Expert and D.U.I Instructor at the University Police.