A report, prepared by the U. S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare and released in February 1972, labels alcohol as the number one drug problem in the United States; and states that every year “alcoholic abusers” cost the nation $15 billion in lost work time, property damage, and health and welfare costs. An immeasurably greater loss than any stated in the report occurs in terms of heartache, grief, and the destruction of the moral fiber of our nation.

In 1958, the National Association of Evangelicals declared that the serving of alcoholic beverages on commercial airplanes should be considered (1) a menace to the safety of air travel, (2) a violation of the several laws which forbid offering alcoholic beverages for sale in the presence of minors, and (3) an intolerable affront to the non-imbibing passengers. If the points made in 1958 were valid, they are immensely more valid today.

The increasing complexity of flight operations, the danger of “skyjacking” and the larger number of passengers carried per aircraft greatly multiply the potential menace to safety in the skies posed by intoxicated passengers. If it is against the law to sell alcoholic beverages in the presence of minors on the ground, then this should not be done in the air. And the freedom of a non-drinker to enjoy his trip without personal affront is at least as great as the freedom of the drinker to indulge.

All factors considered it is the judgment of the NAE that the in-flight dispensing of alcoholic beverages is a practice that can be terminated to the benefit of the greatest number.

Therefore, the National Association of Evangelicals calls upon Congress to enact appropriate legislation which will preclude the offering of alcoholic beverages whether complimentary or for sale to patrons abroad commercial airlines.