A study group wants to change Wisconsin’s alcohol environment, and its members came up with a total of 49 recommendations for state and local governments, communities, employers and educators. Julia Sherman is the Chair of the Alcohol Culture and Environment Workgroup, whose panel of experts note that Wisconsin is one of only two states that allows parents to purchase alcohol for their children in public.
“One of our recommendations is that we go with what is the mainstream in this country, where parents can serve alcohol to their own children in their own homes, but not elsewhere.”
Also, Sherman says many states have found sobriety checkpoints to be effective in reducing impaired driving. Among other things, the group recommends Wisconsin double the amounts municipalities may charge for alcohol licenses, and municipalities should limit alcohol advertising to prevent youth overexposure. Sherman realizes there’s certain to be opposition to the recommendations.
“Any big changes gets some push back, and we’re asking Wisconsin to make some big changes.”
It took almost a year to put together the report, which was completed late last year. The report is now being endorsed by the State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and will be sent to local officials and volunteers, and to state lawmakers.
The workgroup included law enforcement, public policy experts, attorneys, local leaders, elected officials, public health, educators, etc. The group also recommends that municipalities adopt ordinances banning the use of beer bongs and similar devices in addition to competitions and games designed to force the rapid consumption of alcohol in licensed establishments.