Posted on March 23, 2006

Hispanics’ Drinking a Growing Problem

David Melson, Shelbyville Times-Gazette (Tenn.), March 17, 2006

One of the most noticed problems among Bedford County’s wave of illegal and legal Hispanics—but one not talked about enough by officials—is obvious alcoholism.

Note these excerpts from last weekend’s police reports involving Hispanics. See Brian Mosely’s column elsewhere on this page for one example of where some of these problems may be originating. Here’s where many of those at the Wartrace Pike soccer fields may end up after their day of partying.

Two reports of people passing out:

  • “A Hispanic male was lying on his back . . . unconscious . . . on the front porch of (a West Jackson Street) residence. The owner of the residence did not know the subject.” The officer woke the man, who was drunk.
  • “While on patrol I saw a Hispanic male passed out in the driveway” at a Couch Lane home. The resident didn’t know him. He was awakened, found to be drunk and gave false information to the arresting officer after initially refusing to answer questions.

And four drunken drivers:

  • “He drove his pickup into his other vehicle, damaging both.” (To clarify, the man wrecked both his own cars.) “He then got into his brother’s vehicle and prepared to leave. He stated he had consumed five beers . . . he became loud and belligerent” and, later, “intentionally obstructed the (Intoximeter) test.”


Over the past few weeks I’ve made reference to possible vision problems and a unusually-high incidence of infant deaths among Bedford County’s Hispanic population.

I don’t want to come across as if I’m picking on one ethnic group. But the number of Hispanics being arrested, mostly for drinking violations, is far out of proportion in terms of their overall percentage of Bedford County’s population.