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Most Indulgent Time of the Year

December 4, 2018
Emmetsburg News

To the Editor:

Thanksgiving to New Year's is the most indulgent time of the year--from overeating to overspending to excess alcohol consumption. It is very easy for a person to get caught up in the festivities of the season and overdo. From family gatherings, Christmas parties and New Year's celebration there are many opportunities for people to have memorable fun with family and friends but there is also many opportunities to make unhealthy and regrettable choices.

When it comes to alcohol consumption, the CDC defines low risk alcohol use as no more than one drink an hour and no more than three drinks per occasion. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer; 5 ounces of wine; and 1 ounces of 80-100 proof of distilled spirits. If a person finds it difficult to stay within the low risk guidelines, they may prefer not to drink at all. A person could enjoy a glass of cranberry juice with club soda and a spritz of lime. Or if you choose alcohol, stick to drinks that are low in alcohol, light beer would be a good example at 3.5 percent alcohol by volume. If you prefer mixed drinks add just a splash of alcohol to the glass instead of the standard shot.

Gatherings with family and friends will be much more enjoyable without the effects of alcohol clouding your thoughts and speech. Many embarrassed employees had to return to work after an employee Christmas Party to find their behavior or comments made are now the topic of the "office underground" and are not easily forgotten especially by management.

Another good reason this holiday season to avoid excess alcohol consumption is an OWI charge ("Operating While Intoxicated" legal driving charge in Iowa which is .08 blood alcohol concentration or higher). According to the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, the typical OWI costs include: vehicle towing and storage fee, $57; driver's license reinstatement fee, $20; new license, $23; driver's license civil penalty, $200; Car insurance premium increase, $900; Interlock or "blow and go" device, $390; OWI penalty fine, $1,000; OWI class, $250; OWI substance abuse evaluation, $125; probation administration fee, $250; attorney fees, $900; missed wages (5 work days ), $400; for a total of $4,515. And that is just for first timers who will probably spend 48 hours in jail. Jail time and fees increase with each OWI. The third OWI a person can expect a penalty fee of $2500 from the first time fee of $1000 and 30 days to 5 years in jail.

According to the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, "You could buy a good used car for what an OWI costs. And you wouldn't have to go to jail".

Compass Pointe staff wishes you a joyous and safe holiday season.

(signed) Linda Hallengren

Spencer, IA



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