Thursday, November 1, 2007

Sponsoring sobriety: only Montgomery County

Apparently public drunkenness is a problem in MoCo — but don't worry, only in Long Branch, Takoma Park and Langley Park.

That's why the county took up the issue with an "inebriation prevention initiative," which called for the establishment of a "sobering center."

The program was in response to pleas for help from business owners in those areas, understandably concerned about the health of their businesses.

And today, the County Council committee will discuss the initiative’s progress at a Rockville meeting.

One of the committee’s findings: 96.3 percent of those taken to the sobering center (who otherwise would be taken to hospital emergency rooms) have been male.

Now, this initiative employs three case workers and operates 10 hours a day, six days a week. I’m all for preserving hospital ERs for those who are truly in need, but the “sobering center” has got to require a decent amount of funding.

Maybe 96.3 percent of the funding should be taken from the tax dollars of men in the target areas. Any takers?

-JACKIE SAUTER, Multimedia Editor

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