So Irish people spent €6.5billion on alcohol in 2005. In 2006 we drank 732 million litres of the stuff. That was 232 litres per person over 18 – which is probably a fair enough figure since those over 18 who don’t drink goes some way to offset those under 18 who do. Apparently we top the international league for binge drinking among the under-20s, and in the amount of alcohol consumed by those aged 15 and over.
Add to that the toll of death and injury caused by people driving under the influence of alcohol. Add to that the abuse and violence inflicted on children, wives, and husbands by those under the influence. Add to that the chaos and over-burdening of A&E departments up and down the country at weekends because of alcohol related violence or accident.
Now why is it then that I keep hearing people whinging about Garda checkpoints and ‘morning after’ breath-testing? It’s even got to the stage that some politicians have voiced their disapproval.
There is an innate selfishness about this – “I have a right to drink what I want, and to go out on the roads and endanger the lives of others just because I want to drive.” It’s all about me.
Why should one person’s favourite offence be treated lightly by the law and not someone else’s preferred manner of law-breaking, like downloading child pornography? I suspect most who complain about breath-testing wouldn’t for a moment let a viewer of child porn off the hook. They want other people’s anti-social behaviour dealt with, while being let off the hook for their own. That is the height of arrogance.
God says in Isaiah 5: “Woe to those who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine… Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks… Therefore the Lord’s anger burns against his people.”
It’s time to face up to the fact that we have taken one of God’s gifts and made an idol out of it – and every time we do that it will turn round and bite us. We need to repent of this worship of the god of alcohol and turn to the worship of the one true God.