In an attempt to curb drunk driving and consumption by minors in the city, the Los Angeles Planning and Land Use Management Committee (LAPLUMC) on Oct. 10, 2017, approved a measure aimed at stricter enforcement of the sale of alcohol at gas stations. “Vendors such as gas stations that sell alcohol may be overlooked in city regulations governing alcohol sales. This measure will make sure we are doing more to prevent drinking and driving,” said Los Angeles City Council Member Bob Blumenfield.
According to the motion, the LAPLUMC is required to ensure that every business, which has a license from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), is abiding by the state law before acquiring a city permit. In California, the Department of ABC controls the manufacture, distribution, storage and sale of alcoholic beverages. However, the city council is in charge of issuing permits to operate gas stations and other businesses.
Additionally, the motion would provide the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) with more enforcement tools to monitor and issue citations for alcohol-sale violations at gas stations. Such violations include:
- Displaying beer or wine within five feet of the cash register or front door as of Jan. 1, 1988.
- Displaying advertisements of alcoholic drinks at buildings, motor fuel islands or windows.
- Engaging in alcohol sales from a drive-in window.
- Displaying or engaging in alcohol sales from an ice tub.
- Employing staff, who are less than 21 years of age, between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.
According to Sara Cooley, advocacy manager at Alcohol Justice, the organization dedicated to shield people from the negative practices of the alcohol industry, Los Angeles witnesses over 4,215 alcohol-induced road accidents and 217 driving under the influence (DUI) deaths each year. Blumenfield’s motion would help prevent such tragedies in the future, Cooley said.
Alcohol is America’s drug of choice
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), about 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. Furthermore, there are millions of unfortunate individuals nationwide who are caught in the grip of alcohol, despite being aware of its negative impact on their lives.
Addiction is a covert ambush predator, which pounces on its victim off-guard. Studies suggest the phenomenal rates of alcoholism can be attributed to a high density of alcohol outlets across the county, which, over the years, have transformed the addictive substance into a part and parcel of being American. It always starts with small shots and over time triggers the urge to indulge in regular drinking, eventually culminating into a full-blown addiction.
Addiction to alcohol can be treated. However, for a desirable breakthrough from alcohol addiction, one’s willingness matters. People with alcoholism should focus on changing their life-wrecking habits through alternatives such as distractions and substitution drinks. Moreover, cognitive behavioral therapies (CBTs) and counselling sessions in the rehabilitation centers focus on viewing alcohol as a choice rather than a compulsion. Alcohol abuse can have a devastating impact on all spheres of an individual’s life, leaving an enormous burden on American society. The NIAAA reports that less than 8 percent of people grappling with alcohol addiction seek professional treatment.
Alcoholism is treatable
Excessive drinking can have an adverse impact on one’s physical and mental health that can make them vulnerable to injuries or even death. Nevertheless, alcohol forms an inevitable part of American culture and society, jeopardizing the lives and well-being of millions across the country. In fact, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) says that alcohol is the most widespread addictive substance in the country, with 17.6 million Americans battling the consequences of alcohol abuse.
Just as in the case of any other addiction, breaking free from the clutches of alcohol is only possible through professional support. If you or a loved one is struggling to break free from alcohol, contact Sovereign Health of California, which offers a variety of customized alcohol addiction treatment programs. For more information, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our representatives.