How Americans Learned to Condemn Drunk Driving

In the 1980s, Liberal Activists and Anti-Drug Conservatives Joined Forces to Override a Libertarian Ethos

At a traffic safety conference in 1980, a Californian named Candy Lightner delivered her first public speech about a 13-year-old freckle-faced girl who had recently been killed by a drunk driver with several previous convictions.

At the conclusion of her talk, she announced, “That girl was my daughter.”

As Lightner later wrote, the press ran out of the auditorium to call their photographers. “Pandemonium ensued,” she recalled.

Recidivist drunk drivers had killed children—and adults—for decades in the United States, often receiving little more than a slap on the wrist. But in the …

This is Your Child’s Brain on Alcohol

Each Year, 40,000 American Children Are Born With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. The Costs of Caring for Them Are Staggering.

Social scientists have calculated that detrimental effects of alcohol cost the U.S. some $223.5 billion a year. We’re talking health issues such as liver disease, impaired driving, lost work due …

When Your Doctor Is Drunk

Why It’s So Hard for Doctors to Report Colleagues for Substance Abuse—and for Physicians Who Are Addicts to Get Help

Larry was a doctor trainee at a hospital where I taught in Burbank. I recommended that he not pass, due to very poor preparation and work habits. But he did, …

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

The Bars I’ve Loved Pour a Perfect Pint—and Bring People Together

The bars I’ve loved for the past 20 years—from the Metro-North Bar Car I fell for as a teenager riding the commuter train to New York City to the little …