I’ll take a Red Bull and vodka with a twist of literacy, please

October 29, 2009


I would never personally drink this stuff ... but go buy it in Thousand Oaks, and prepare to encounter a warning first.

It must either be a slow news day, or people care about drinking alcohol just a bit too much in these here parts of Ventura County.

Daily paper coverage of new regulations in Thousand Oaks, requiring liquor vendors to post signs in their establishments warning of the dangers of alcohol-energy drinks, has amassed the most reader comments than any other story today.

And that’s about on par with another story of a murder indictment.

I’m not a fan of those hybrid alcoholic energy drinks — think Monster or Red Bull with a 9-percent alc/vol — but walk into a Thousand Oaks liquor store from now on, and you’ll find signs warning that the drinks, apparently from the unique combo of alcohol with heart-amping energetics, are not only impairing, but in bold, INCREASE YOUR RISKS OF INJURY.

It’s all good, right? So then why are some people so irate? Says one reader:

Just another form of Nanny Government. Last time I checked the City had a major deficit and the economy is in the toilet so why are they even discussing this issue when they have zero authority over it. This is nothing more then the council pushing its moral beliefs onto others. What a waste of taxpayers money.

Unless you may think signage is an infringement of your personal rights, I don’t really see how it’s any more harmful than suffering the impairment and injury local authorities are looking to prevent by warning consumers.

Hell, it’s not like the T.O. brass is prohibiting alcohol altogether.

It’s like any other warning, on a pack of cigarettes, for example, or Yield signs on the road … you don’t have to stop your car into oncoming traffic, but if you heed the warning, you just might be better off.

This reader posted their ideas with a bit more consideration to the dangers of alcohol:

I can’t believe it, there was an article on drunk driving and every one was for hanging the guys, the city passes a law to help keep them off the streets, I don’t see how anybody can be against that, the signs do not infringe on anyone they just inform. I have attended to many funerals of drunk driver victims.

And like the root of the word, to inform is to relay information, which never killed anybody before. But drinking and driving has, all too often on Ventura County’s roads. And there’s no doubt there’ll be a lot of it happening on Halloween this weekend, once again.

Here’s hoping for a safe holiday, and that people will learn to read before they drink.


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