reports on the local man who drank himself to death following a "drinking contest."
According to the article: "Coroner Greg Merchant [told the local paper] that John Caldwell died after a drinking contest at [Reuben's Fish House] with an off-duty employee Sunday night. Caldwell’s body was found Monday in the restaurant. Merchant says Caldwell’s blood alcohol level was 0.5 percent. He says a potentially lethal level is 0.35 percent to 0.4 percent. Merchant says restaurant employees put the men in a booth so they could sleep off the alcohol. The other man apparently left at some point."
The legendary Keith Whitley was an upcoming country star on the verge of "super stardom" when he was found dead (1989) from acute alcohol poisoning. Whitley was an a child Bluegrass prodigy, he and Ricky Skaggs were playing with Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, and the Stanley Brothers--and were viewed by that community as the next generation. Whitley was married to the future female Country superstar Lorrie Morgan at the time he drank himself to death. He was 34.
You can tell his death had some effect on me. Whitley had tremendous promise, there are Bluegrass songs that were composed in remembrance of Whitley as there are in memoriam to Hank Williams, Sr. Hank Williams, Jr. had a hit with a song called Family Tradition which has these eye-opening lyrics: [W]hy do you drink?/(Hank) why do you roll smoke?/Why must you live out the songs that you wrote?/over and over/everybody made my prediction/so if i get stoned/I'm just carryin'/on an old family tradition!
Let me be absolutely clear--no one made the Bad Lawyer, an alcoholic. I drank, and drank and I became an alcoholic all on my own.
There is indisputably, a correlation between a family history of alcoholism and alcoholism. Hank Williams, Sr. the archetype of country music alcoholism drank himself to death, as the song says, his son nearly so.
In my professional years, I worked with alcoholic colleagues, represented alcoholic clients, represented clients who were personal injury victims of alcoholic drivers, family members and co-workers. The societal cost of alcoholism is breath-taking. In part the law operates to regulate alcohol consumption and to deal with the consequences of alcoholism and yet it always feels inadequate to me.