I don’t know that it would be considered irony as much as juxtaposition but: On my news feeds today I saw stories about news items that piqued the interest of this Morgantown criminal defense attorney: One post talked about how it is National Beer Day (yes, thanks to the Internet, that is now a seemingly semi-legit holiday). The other? It expounded on the history of April being designated National Alcohol Awareness Month.
So, before you raise a glass in honor of National Beer Day (to the Internet, celebrate April 7th as the official end of prohibition in America), know that, especially with underage folks, raising too many is a real issue in the United States. Don’t want to be a buzz kill here, but according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (known as the NCADD, which established National Alcohol Awareness Month way back in 1987), alcohol is the number-one drug of choice among America’s youth. The dangers associated with underage drinking have spurred the NCADD to theme this year’s observation as “For the Health of It: Early Education on Alcoholism”- and I can tell you that, in my experience as a Morgantown criminal defense attorney, more education is needed.
I represent a lot of clients who attend school at West Virginia University – some get charged with DUIs, some get charged with underage drinking, and some with other alcohol-induced crimes. As a West Virginia University alum myself, I get it: Kids party in college, many times before they reach the legal age to drink. I just think as we celebrate National Beer Day, we should also be cognizant that we might be sending mixed signals to our young people with the revelry – and should join NCADD in its efforts to spread awareness about the dangers of underage drinking.