Comments about ‘In our opinion: Despite public awareness, DUI fatalities are rising’

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Published: Monday, Oct. 22 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "The Legislature should . . . review and assess the statutes in place to combat the problem . . . ."

It should. But it won't. Because the legislature is in the pocket of the "hospitality" industry.

That industry, including brewers, distillers, and distributors, continues to reap billions in blood money from their actions, while enjoying near-immunity, at least in Utah, from the entirely predictable and easily preventable consequences.

The ONLY solution that has even a ghost of a chance at reducing the carnage is strengthening Utah's lax dram shop laws, incentivizing "hospitality" industry responsibility for its insane irresponsibility, requiring it to pay for the carnage its billions in profits cause.

But, since that would require Utah legislators to take a step or two away from the industry, we've come to expect little.

Legislators inevitably choose self interest over protection of the innocent public they're elected to serve.

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

The reason is that we, the people, continue to tolerate it. If we put our foot down and insisted that drunk drivers serve a harsh jail sentence for a first offense these needless deaths would drop drastically.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

I cannot say how prosecution of DUI works in Utah. But in other states where I have lived, it is incredibly lenient (unless there was a severe accident involved).

Rifleman is correct. We need harsher sentencing.

In Europe, where driving is seen a more of a privilege than a right, the rules are much stronger. We would do well to emulate them.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Why do we continue to tolerate alcohol? Why would anyone with a brain drink alcohol? Cause it's "fun"? Those of you who defend drinking alcohol are killing (literally) the rest of us!

Owl
Salt Lake City, UT

It is tolerated because we allow it to be so. When our legislators work for the people rather than the hospitality and liquor industry things will change. Evidently people who are killed as the result of DUI are expendable, alcohol profits are not. Their idea of stiff enforcement is "Please drink (get drunk) responsibly."

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

We who enjoy a drink are not out to kill 'the rest of you', any more than someone with a handgun or an elderly person behind the wheel. And certainly not nearly as much as smokers. This kind of inflammatory hyperbole is not helpful. And for everyone who wants the old standby, the 'crack down' or 'clamp down' of more laws, we need a different approach. It's the old 'outlaws will still have guns' situation. Reasonable people everywhere who drink to not drink and drive. The problem ones will do it without license or insurance no matter what the laws. And these are the ones that end up on the news.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Hutterite. Tell that to a victim's family and see if they think its inflammatory hyperbole!

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"Those of you who defend drinking alcohol are killing (literally) the rest of us!"

That certainly sounds illogical.

Let me try.

"those of you who defend gun ownership are killing (literally) the rest of us!"

Nope. Doesn't make sense either.

Both products, when used responsibly, have no ill effects on ones self or society in general.

And, Over-the-top, inflammatory, incorrect rhetoric serves no purpose.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Joe Blow. 4 million Americans will be victims of drunk drivers this year which means your odds of being a victim is about 30% if we consider that there are about 130 million drivers on the roads. Statistically you are more likely to drown in a swimming pool in America than be killed by a gun. Also, I use guns to defend my family from criminals who will use guns to harm others. How can I defend my family from drunk drivers?

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Alcohol is a legal product that causes you no harm when used responsibly. You can disagree, but my statement is supported by research.

Same with guns and the same with cell phones and the same with prescription drugs.

Alcohol has a place in society. It always has. Remember when Jesus turned water into wine?
Beer came about because it was safer to store and keep than water.

Your statements show an obvious prejudice against alcohol. I assure you that I have a brain and enjoy alcohol responsibly. As do most others.

Issues like this CAN be discussed using logic and reason by logical and reasonable. You do not seem capable of doing that for whatever reason (religion? personal incident?).

Cant have a reasonable discussion with unreasonable people.

Let me ask you this. What would you propose as a solution? Details please.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Mountan,

Looked at your statement

"4 million Americans will be victims of drunk drivers this year which means your odds of being a victim is about 30% if we consider that there are about 130 million drivers on the roads."

Thought is sounded high. Cant find any stats that even remotely come close to what you have written.

Could you please cite the study, or tell me where you got these numbers?

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

I think there is no doubt that some folks can drink responsibly.

There is also little doubt that a smaller portion of the population cannot.

Irrespective of local drinking laws (where I am some counties/cities are "dry" or "wet") there is NO doubt that all of this changes once someone gets behind the wheel.

At that point a private act becomes a public danger. Prosecution of that crime should be harsh (because the fact that no one got hurt/killed this time was just luck). And if you drive without a license (because yours was revoked due to DUI) then you get to spend some time thinking about it at public expense.

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
"Alcohol is a legal product that causes you no harm when used responsibly."

No one is questioning whether alcohol is a legal product. If you want to drink it that's perfectly acceptable. Just don't get behind the wheel after you do. Drunk drivers belong in jail.

I never allow myself to get overly concerned when I hear that a drunk driver has destroyed his (or her) car and is in the hospital. It helps keep them off the street.

Republicantthinkstraigh
Anywhere but, Utah, Utah

More people are killed or murdered with guns than are killed or murdered by drivers under the influence. Your logic of keeping guns (to protect your family) when obviously guns provide more harm than good compared to alcohol, is flawed to say the least.

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Republicantthinkstraigh Anywhere but, Utah, Utah
"Your logic of keeping guns (to protect your family) when obviously guns provide more harm than good compared to alcohol, is flawed to say the least."

The majority of Utahns think you should hold the drunk driver and not Ford Motor Company responsible for his misdeeds.

Likewise, if someone misuses a firearm we think it is the individual and not Smith & Wesson who is responsible. Luckily for us we have the 2nd Amendment and the US Supreme Court on our side. People suffering from a gun phobia should move to Chicago. You more likely to be murdered there but liberals are not known for using logic or common sense.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "Alcohol is a legal product that causes you no harm when used responsibly."

True enough.

The real problem, though, are the thoroughly horrendous, readily foreseeable, easily calculable, statistically stable, human and financial costs of irresponsible use that are inseparably connected to "responsible" alcohol consumption.

Those costs are borne today almost entirely by innocent victims of irresponsible drinkers, many of whom -- at least in Utah -- don't share "responsible" drinkers' enthusiasm for the practice. This, notwithstanding the fact that the "hospitality" industry rakes in blood-soaked billions in alcohol profits every year, almost none of which is directed to the industry's victims.

It's tempting, in a state where most don't drink, to just prohibit alcohol consumption, which would, of course, decrease the carnage.

But there is another way.

Fix Utah's lax dram-shop laws, extending liability for injury by drinkers to those who profit so handsomely by it.

That would provide, not just relief to innocent victims, but meaningful incentives to those who profit so handsomely by it, to stop the carnage.

toosmartforyou
Farmington, UT

DUI is totally avoidable and it should be totally, unequivically, and absolutely unacceptable too. Why do we tolerate it?

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

@procuradorfiscal
We cannot legislate to insure everyone uses everything properly. We cannot legislate people to be smart. DUI's are a small amount of deaths in Utah. Put it in perspective and we shouldn't be giving any resources towards it.
Lets see the list of what kills the most people in Utah. Will DUI's even be on it?

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

As per my last post, I can find a list of the top 15 killers in Utah, and the term Accident is a catch all category. So DUI deaths are not in the top 15. And coming in at 69 deaths, I doubt its in the top 25.
That being said, its awful to be a victim in an accident. Lets prevent things, but lets keep them in perspective.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Joe Blow. My information comes from MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving).

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