Letter: Alcohol deaths are preventable

January 4, 2014 

Michelle Theriault Boots (Daily News, Dec. 29) reports, “Phyllis Ayaprun, 57, was found dead on Saturday of cold exposure after sleeping in a tent after reportedly a night of drinking.” The article reports that Elane Cleveland was also found dead from exposure in a van at a used-car lot after drinking alcohol, and it tells of five other recent deaths under similar circumstances.

These deaths are needless and preventable, and we have a civic responsibility to intervene to prevent such deaths.

Our Legislature should require DMV to apply a restriction against purchase of alcohol on ID cards of all Alaskans who have well-documented, unresolved problems with drinking alcohol (not just DUI convictions). We must also fund a campaign to educate people on why they must refuse to buy alcoholic drinks for such persons. We must make this a more serious crime, and we must enforce it vigorously, so that such people do not come to Anchorage and other “wet” cities to die.

— Daniel Russell



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