Friday, February 10, 2012
Many of us in the addiction and recovery community of Southern California and across the country are familiar with the sad story of the life of Mark David Allen. Mark was a diehard alcoholic who resided in Newport Beach for years and left a mind boggling trail of arrests in his wake before passing away face down in the street at age 50 on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. 520 arrests in Newport Beach, at least 277 cases filed against him by prosecutors in Orange County, and an unknown number in Hawaii or any other place he may have lived over his life time.
Over the years alcohol dramatically affected Allen’s life and the transformation he endured was documented by Newport Beach Police Custody Officer David J. Sperling. For more than a decade, Sperling recorded Allen's frequent visits into the city jail, recording Allen's 500th arrest last summer. No matter how hard people tried to help Allen find his way into a life of recovery, it never worked as he would always find his way back into a bottle.
While Allen’s story may be a sad one, to many outsiders it might sound like the same old story, alcoholic can’t stop drinking - alcoholic dies. However, when Allen allowed Officer Sperling to create a documentary with the footage he had collected over the years he did a great service. The documentary titled “Drunk in Public” shows firsthand what alcohol can do to someone, where it can take you, and how it can kill you if something doesn’t change.
Sperling said Allen's life is a cautionary tale.
"Mark brought it all to life, the whole concept of: 'If you do this, this is what's going to happen,'" he said. "With Mark you got to see the despair acted out. He's living the rock bottom and showing people it's not all it's cracked up to be."
"Drunk in Public" has won awards at film festivals across the country and it is nothing short of a masterpiece. If you haven’t had an opportunity to watch the film we strongly suggest that you take the time.
We pray for Mark and invite you to watch a trailer from “Drunk in Public”.