We recommend a new approach to alcohol education. Too often alcohol education either denies the reality of alcohol use amongst its subjects (Just Say No!) or is an intervention measure only after irresponsible alcohol use has been reprimanded (Court ordered alcohol treatment). We envision a program similar to Drivers’ Education in that it will:
- Be taught by a certified alcohol educator, trained specifically to cover the legal, ethical, health and safety issues of the curriculum and skilled in dealing with young adults.
- Consist of at least 40 hours of instruction, with the most time spent in the classroom setting, supplemented by sessions of community involvement—DWI court hearings, safe ride taxi programs, community forums.
- Require a partnership between home and school.
- Entail a final examination that subjects must pass for licensing.
- Provide accurate and unbiased alcohol education for both drinkers and abstainers.
The alcohol education course curriculum must:
- Be a model for reality-based alcohol education.
- Involve collaboration between state, school, and home.
- Create a basis for responsible choices where alcohol is concerned, and wed those expectations of responsible behavior to a system of certification and provisional licensing for 18-20 year-olds.
- Be developed and implemented on a state-by-state basis.
- Provide accurate, truthful, and unbiased alcohol education. It will acknowledge the social reality of alcohol in American society, but it will advocate neither abstinence nor consumption. It will seek only to create a basis for responsible choices where alcohol is concerned.
Upon successful completion of the curriculum, each student of the program will receive a license, entitling him or her to all the privileges and responsibilities of adult alcohol purchase, possession, and consumption of alcohol.