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Alcohol-Detecting Shackle All the Rage
An ankle bracelet that samples the wearer’s perspiration for alcohol content once an hour is being used by more than 800 courts and agencies in 42 states.
When the wearer gets within 30 feet of a computer modem installed next to his or her home phone, the bracelet automatically transmits its readings to Alcohol Monitoring Systems, the manufacturer of the bracelet.
AMS admits using hair spray or other alcohol-based products can produce false positives.
Court Says No to Dancing In NYC Bars
NYC’s 80-year-old cabaret law banning dancing by patrons in ordinary bars and restaurants is legal, the state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division has ruled.
The Gotham West Coast Swing Club and others had sued, saying the law violated their constitutional right to free expression. But the appeals court backed the law, which was enacted in the Prohibition era to crack down on speakeasies.
“Recreational dancing is not a form of expression protected by the federal or state constitutions,” the court wrote.
MADD Wants Eco-Friendly Packaging Banned
Mothers Against Drunk Driving has launched a campaign against new portable packages of alcohol called Pocket Shots.
They are pocket-sized, plastic packages of vodka, gin, whiskey, rum or tequila. MADD claims the packages are aimed at kids.
“Absolutely, it scares the death out of me; our youth are being targeted,” said Pat Hodgkin of MADD. “Obviously those are being directed to our youth. They’re candy. It’s alcohol candy for our youth.”
MADD also said the smaller packages make it too simple for teens to consume alcohol.
But Hodgkin said that explanation is not enough.
“They’re easily accessible. They’re easy to hide and they’re easy to drink and they’re lethal,” she said.
The president of Pocket Shots said the packaging design is consumer and environmentally friendly and the drinks are intended for adult use only.
Anheuser-Busch Hounded Over “Idiotarod” Promotion
Infamous nanny group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says Anheuser-Busch should drop its sponsorship of a Washington, D.C. charity event called the “Idiotarod.” Event rules call on participants to acquire shopping carts and go bar hopping.
CSPI called on Anheuser-Busch to immediately withdraw its sponsorship of the event, which organizers say “is about testing your own willingness to make an ass of yourself.”
“Here’s Anheuser-Busch putting Bud Light’s seal of approval on this sophomoric and potentially dangerous event, where who knows how many intoxicated people will take to the streets of Washington pushing stolen shopping carts,” shrilled George A. Hacker, director of alcohol policies at CSPI.
Booze to Get Serial Numbers Like Guns
Bottles of alcohol are being given identification tags in parts of England. The ID label will reveal the the name of the shop where it was sold.
Rachel Sayers, spokesperson for the program, said “The main purpose of the scheme is to act as a deterrent. This operation centers on enforcement. We will do whatever is necessary to crack down on the levels of alcohol-related anti-social behavior that residents are suffering in the area.”
Last Call For Shots in Scotland
The Portman Group, the notoriously uptight regulatory group that represents Scotland’s alcohol industry, is considering a ban on the sale of shots of alcohol.
The proposal to ban the “potentially irresponsible beverages” has been met with mixed responses. While touted as a positive step by Scottish anti-alcohol activists, the proposed ban has been tabbed as a trade restriction by many in the alcohol industry.
“The practice of ‘downing’ drinks is a purely functional style of drinking, whereby alcohol is consumed for its effect rather than its taste,” the geniuses at the Portman Group said.
NJ High School To Start Random Alcohol Tests
A New Jersey school district plans to institute random urine tests capable of detecting alcohol that was consumed up to 80 hours earlier.
Pequannock Township High, with about 800 students, said it will begin administering the tests next week. Pequannock teenagers who participate in sports or other extracurricular activities, or who drive to school, are already tested for illegal drugs under a 2005 program prompted by the heroin overdose of a student.
Students who test positive for alcohol will receive counseling, and their parents will be notified, Reynolds said.
Not everyone is happy with the measure. “Medical care and treatment are issues between parents and children,” said Deborah Jacobs, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey. Others say what happens off school grounds is none of the school’s business.
Each test costs about $20, and will be paid for by the taxpayer.
Harsher Penalties May Be in Store for Cabbies Who Refuse to Transport Alcohol
“I am Muslim. I’m not going to carry alcohol,” Mohamed, a driver for Bloomington Cab, told a Metropolitan Airports Commission panel gathering public opinion regarding proposed penalties for cabbies who refuse service to passengers carrying alcohol.
Commissioners are charged with setting a new policy by May, when airport licenses for cab drivers are set to expire. Under the proposal, drivers who refuse service for any reason would have their license suspended for 30 days. A second refusal would mean a two-year revocation of the license.
According to airport officials, about 80 percent of their cabdrivers are Somali, who are commonly Muslim. Islam religious law strictly forbids the carrying of alcohol.
Last year, airport officials said alcohol-bearing passengers were being refused service an average of 77 times a month, though that dropped drastically after new travel safety rules prohibited liquids in carry-on luggage.
In September, the commission proposed a compromise that would have let Muslim cabbies purchase and mount a different-colored light on their cab if they didn’t want to pick up passengers carrying alcohol.
But that proposal triggered a huge backlash, from both passengers and other taxi drivers who feared it would make travelers avoid taxis altogether. Soon the airport commission went the other direction, proposing the stiff penalties for cabbies who refuse service to alcohol-toting passengers.
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