We at theHouston Press
are all about serving the public’s interest – especially when it involves consuming massive amounts of alcohol. Which is why we were excited and honored to be part of MADD’s “Wet Lab” demonstration; a partnership between MADD and the Houston Police Department.
Scheduled for August 25, the demo was to involve getting media representatives legally intoxicated, then have them drive through a series of cones and perform three-point turns – or, as we call it, “Friday night.”
One reporter was elected to take on this responsibility, and, taking his role as government watchdog seriously, prepped for the demo by downing a wide variety of alcoholic beverages, including 40-ouncers, fortified wine, an entire case of Busch, and a 21-year-old Glenlivet.
Things took a detour, though, when “liability” issues rose their head, and MADD informed us that we wouldn’t be driving an actual car, but a video simulation (we were hoping it’d be Grand Theft Auto IV). It was a bit of a bummer, but we were still prepared to pitch in. Our reporter even filled out a consent form that stated he was never “diagnosed as an alcoholic,” which is in fact remarkably similar to the Houston Press employment application.
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But just when our reporter got into perhaps the best drinking condition of his life, MADD gave us some sobering (get it?) news: According to a MADD rep, “HPD has just pulled the plug on the entire Wet Lab for Monday, due to liability issues.”
We’re not sure why these “liability issues” weren’t handled previously, and we’re a little disappointed that we won’t be able to demonstrate the dangers of drunk driving – at least not in a sanctioned manner. Especially since "get the reporter wasted" stories have long been a staple of anti-drunk-driving campaigns.
The best we can offer is this chilling reminder of the dangers of unchecked alcohol consumption.
-- Craig Malisow