Open Container Law- Bullshit?!

This is a topic I have been wanting to vent my thoughts on for a while. First an short intro: I have lived in Thailand for the past eight years of my life and have just recently started (and just finished) my first year of college in Delaware, Ohio.

A law exists in this town under "open container" that basically says: Nobody can drink any form of alcohol in public.

First off what scares me is the fact that this law is taken for granted. In Thailand, there is no drinking age and never did I think about not being able to buy a beer in a 7-11 and drinking it outside. Of a more developed country that this is unheard of is Japan where my roommate is from. In Taiwan the drinking age is 18 and this is a nonexistant law. These are freedoms that I sorely miss and find it sad that many American adults don't even know what their missing. My English teacher was inclined to debate the intracacies of the law; she couldn't understand what it was like without it. It was not even mentioned here under open container, and when I google it all I get is references to the argument from open containers in cars.

Is this not worth debating? Because I am trying to find the reasoning behind it and I can't. The freedom that is lost is hidden behind of facade of "community well-being". When was there the chaos ever necessary for so much order? Cops rule the streets of middle-america, and public drunkenness and indency is well monitored. If there is no increased rowdiness in countries where kids under 21 are allowed public drinking, couldn't legal American adults be able to control themselves to a beer? My friend asked me what about picnics and I said I don't know, maybe there are designated parks.

Is the sight of alcohol being drank somehow a form of 'public indecency? I know the characteristics associated with drunkenness are: rudeness, harassement, what else, loud, obnoxious behavior, etc. The common perception is that a law of this nature will control the evils associated with it, such as fighting, swearing, and other petty crime. This is the same fear that gives alcohol its certain mystique thats so enticing to 13-year olds. If we get the alcohol off the streets our kids will not do it and we won't have to deal with the evils associated with it.

This is soccer mom reasoning that not only is bullshit, it is actually harmful to our society. Alcohol is the most popular legal form of perception changing drug we have in our society, yet we shun it to the private darkness while promoting it on TV. The problems of alcoholism and underage drinking are known, but not addressed. This negative representation of drinking has created an irrational and unnecessary fear in the middle class of the violent drunkard that disrupts public order. Yet at the same time drinking has become “a symbol of the irrational, the impulsive, the ‘free’ side of life”. We must come to grips with this two faced relationship we have with alcohol, and this cannot be done if it is kept a private matter.

Allowing people to drink in public would make it less of a hidden, secretive affair and no longer would it have the appearance of being uncontrolled and unpredictable. What better way to regulate an illicit substance than to control people’s use of it in the public sector where regulation is actually possible? No longer would be people live in fear of the unpredictable drunkard; the outside world would shine light upon the hidden evils of alcoholism, and kids wouldn’t be so eager to drink!

Alright I'm getting ahead of myself, but really all I'm trying to do is provoke a little thought on the issue. Is the reasoning behind this law so obvious that it warrants no discussion? No. Laws are give and take, and in this case we have lost too much for the fake insurance of safety and ignorance.


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