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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dean Urdahl (R)

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Action necessary to end string of alcohol-related deaths

Monday, February 25, 2008
ST. PAUL – State Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, has signed onto a bill designed to stop a string of alcohol-related deaths among young Minnesota adults. The legislation is not aimed at ending happy hours, but would curtail binge drinking. The bill was introduced to the House by Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, last session, but it didn’t clear the Senate. In the fall semester since the Legislature last met, at least four Minnesota college students died after a night of drinking. I hope the alcohol-related deaths in the last few months – in addition to a series of young drinkers having disappeared in recent years – has raised public awareness. The spate of deaths among college students shows how alcohol consumption has evolved in our society. Binge drinking is nothing new, but now it has been taken to a new level. Everyone needs to take responsibility, from servers to consumers. These deaths are as preventable and should be prevented. “The issue of binge drinking created headlines in our very own district when a 16-year-old Annandale girl nearly died from alcohol poisoning a few weeks ago,” Urdahl said. “She isn’t even of legal drinking age and, according to a newspaper report, the girl was in the presence of a parent and had a blood-alcohol level of .346 percent.
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