Public health officials and legislators alike are very concerned with providing a healthy environment for the general population when they venture out into the public arena. Adults and children both often frequent the same places and use the same facilities as many others. However, there are many people who do not necessarily convey the proper respect they should when in public themselves. And, chief among this is the use of alcohol and illegal drugs in certain locations, such as on the highways or in public establishments. Even some communicative disease concerns can spark a need for rules and regulations that help public health officials. It is important for everyone to understands these restrictions, and equally important to understand how they advance the cause of effective public health and safety.
One of the most obvious and necessary public health law measures legislators have tackled is impaired driving. And, even though this practice has been a problem since the invention of automobiles with respect to alcohol, the past three decades have brought a shift in tolerance and an understanding that this activity was in a crisis mode at one time. DUI/DWI enforcement officers look for any sign of chemical impairment first when conducting a traffic stop or observing traffic behavior while patrolling. Even driving under the influence of controlled substances, whether legal or otherwise, can result in an impaired driving charge in certain situations as well as a court-mandated SR-22 insurance policy. There are no established acceptable latency standards for non-alcohol products developed as yet, and this will continue as a public health issue until better measuring tools are available for enforcement officers.
It is difficult to live in the contemporary world without a cell phone. However, countless drivers think it is perfectly acceptable to drive the highways while also attempting to text or talk or a cell phone. This practice has become so rampant and ended in so many fatalities that legislators have enacted legislation dealing with this phenomena. Use of a cell phone combined with greatly increased speed capability of modern vehicles has even led to outlawing this practice over public health concerns. And, there may be more action from the government coming in the near future.
Diseases and viral conditions that can be passed on to other humans has become a public health focus as well in modern society, especially with respect to HIV carriers. Once again, controlled substances have contributed to this problem when users choose to inject drugs using contaminated syringes. Even sexual relationships without notifying a partner have become problematic, as HIV is a general attack on the physical ability of the recipient with respect to the individual autoimmune system and other diseases. It is a disorder that can allow for future problems with the body defense against other diseases, resulting in a serious concern for all state legislatures. It’s therefore no surprise several states have laws which require HIV+ people to register in a database. In recent times, technology has gotten to the point where, hypothetically, dangerous disease spreading may be detected via social media data mining in an effort to corner the virus or bacteria before it causes further damage.
This is just a short list of public health issues that will assuredly increase as time goes on. The important thing is that those who are charged with the responsibility to limit potential problems in the future have a basic approach to handling each arising scenario, including any necessary regulations that must be crafted and adopted within any given state. The evolution of impaired driving laws set the standard for this general societal issue, and law enforcement officials combined with attention from state governments will be a priority for public health going forward.