Not all drunk dials are regretted in the morning. A spirited and intoxicated voicemail from country star Kenny Chesney to Lionel Richie ended up landing Chesney a spot on Richie’s new album Tuskegee—a country compilation featuring duets of some of his biggest hits over the last five decades. Chesney knew he wanted to sing “My Love” on the album, so he dialed Richie after drinking a couple of bottles of wine and left him an impromptu audition on his voicemail. “I just decided that I was going to call Lionel and tell him I wanted to sing on his record,” says Chesney. “It was a pretty spirited voicemail, I can tell you that, because I actually sang the verse and like half of the song of ‘My Love’ onto his voicemail.” Chesney called again the next morning to apologize, but apparently it wasn't necessary; Richie granted him the chance to sing the song on the record. The original version of “My Love,” which featured the vocals of Kenny Rogers, cracked the top five on the pop charts in 1983.
DUIs could soon become a thing of the past—recalled only with a hazy "nostalgia"—thanks to new alcohol-sensing technology for cars that's currently in development. Eventually, auto-makers could be required to install the technology—which would detect alcohol in a driver's breath or skin—in all new vehicles. It would be a huge step forward from the "interlock" system that some states currently require for convicted drunk drivers. "Interlock" devices, which test the blood alcohol level of the driver through a tube, are considered by many to be obtrusive and humiliating, and are limited only to drivers with past DUI records. Research into alcohol-sensing technology—which has cost $10 million over the past five years and is asking for $24 million to continue—has focused on two promising options: tissue spectrometry, which would use a laser touchpad to detect alcohol in human tissue, and distant spectrometry, which would use sniff tests to gauge alcohol levels on a driver's breath. The restaurant industry is among those opposing the idea, claiming that a glass of wine with dinner could leave responsible drinkers stranded after a night out, or that occasional malfunctions could prevent sober drivers from starting their cars. And one hole in the plan is that it only detects alcohol, allowing stoned, tripping or coked-up drivers free access to the road. But stats show alcohol is involved in one-third of traffic-related deaths in the US—that's roughly 11,000 deaths per year.
We'd like to remind you of the Freedom & Recovery Conference—held April 23-26, 2012 at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego—with news of an exclusive discount for The Fix readers!
Register for this conference that will bring you face-to-face with leading experts who specialize in treating service men, women, and their families. Military personnel, law enforcement officers and first responders can be exposed to more stress and trauma in one day than many people experience in a lifetime. This unique conference will gather the nation's foremost treatment experts to examine these issues, with a focus on education and training for professionals who provide care to this special population. They will discuss the unique challenges that these individuals face, as well as treatment strategies that prepare them for a return to work and civilian life. Make plans now to join us for two special evenings with guest speakers:
- Dakota Meyer, Medal of Honor recipient, on Tues., April 24 @ 6 pm
- J.R. Martinez, veteran and Dancing With the Stars participant, on Weds., April 25 @ 6 pm!
Be sure to mention "The Fix" in an email to email@example.com to get a discount only available to The Fix readers!
Looking noticeably healthier than he has in years, Redmond O'Neal has been praised by a judge for his progress at an in-patient drug treatment program, after a Los Angeles court heard several reports from doctors, as well as O'Neal's own testimony. O'Neal, who is the 27-year-old son of Ryan O'Neal and the late actress Farrah Fawcett, was arrested last August after cups pulled him over for running a red light and discovered heroin in his car. Already on probation for another drug-related case at the time, he was then charged with being a felon in possession of a gun after authorities found a 9mm handgun in his apartment. “There is no reason you can’t turn your life around,” said Judge Keith L. Schwartz. “I’m very proud of you. You’ve done an outstanding job.” O'Neal faces up to six years behind bars if he relapses or is arrested again, but the judge will continue to delay O’Neal’s sentencing for the probation violation and drug case if he continues to do well in treatment. O'Neal says he's currently studying for his GED diploma and seeing therapists to tackle the issues surrounding his addiction. He was in jail back in June 2009 when his mother died of cancer, and was briefly released to attend her funeral.
It's not just the currency that's in trouble; Europeans are dubbed the “world's heaviest drinkers” by the World Health Organization and the European Commission. People living in Europe consume almost double the world drinking average, downing the equivalent of 12.5 liters of pure alcohol a year, according to a new report. Central-eastern and eastern Europe are considered to be the heaviest drinkers, consuming 14.5 liters per adult per year. Central-western and Western Europe follow close behind with 12.4 liters, then Southern Europe with 11.2 liters and the Nordic countries with 10.4 liters. But the data specifically for binge drinking ranked Nordic countries the highest in that respect. The report also found that within the European Union—a confederation of 27 countries—alcohol accounted for almost 12% of all deaths in 2004 among people aged 15-64. That's equivalent to one in 13 deaths in women and one in seven deaths in men. "The alcohol-related burden on health in Europe is avoidable," says Zsuzsanna Jakab, the WHO's regional director for Europe. “Alcohol consumption has clear, recognized health consequences for drinkers, those around them and society."
An Indiana man is lucky to be alive after being found in a ditch over the weekend with a blood alcohol level seven times the legal driving limit, according to local authorities. James Henderson, a 28-year-old from Valparaiso, may have set a record in Porter County with an astonishing blood alcohol level of 0.552—compared with a legal driving limit of 0.08. Medical experts say that reaching a level of 0.40 brings a strong chance of slipping into a coma, or even death. On Saturday afternoon, a woman was alarmed after spotting Henderson lying on the side of the road in a ditch, with another woman sitting next to him. She then called 911; when she returned to the scene 15 minutes later, Henderson was lying there unconscious and alone, with several bruises on his body. The young man, who has a history of alcohol-related arrests, is being treated at a local hospital for alcohol poisoning. When he recovers he will most likely be charged with public intoxication.