Our View: Ordinance not needed

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Craig Editorial Board

  • Bryce Jacobson, newspaper representative
  • Jennifer L. Grubbs, newspaper representative
  • Bridget Manley, newspaper representative
  • Allan Reishus, community representative
  • Chris Runyan, community representative
  • Ken Wergin, community representative

We often hear talk of the "nanny state." But as an editorial board, we are rallying against the "mommy and daddy state."

Government needs to stop trying to take on the role of parent.

That's why we think Craig does not need a so-called social host ordinance, which would create stiffer penalties for adults who knowingly host parties where young adults younger than 21 are allowed to drink alcohol.

The Steamboat Springs City Council recently approved a first reading of a social host ordinance, and there has been chatter around Craig that our city should consider this, too.

The possible Steamboat ordinance could punish offenders with fines of $500 or more and possible jail time of up to 180 days, as well as requiring completion of an alcohol education program.

Although we agree that teen drinking and 21-and-older enablers are a problem in this community, as they are nearly everywhere in the United States, we feel the existing laws already tackle this issue. It would be a redundant, unnecessary law.

The legal drinking age has been in the national spotlight lately. Many college presidents have put out a call for a younger drinking age to combat binge drinking on college campuses. And a great many people do not like the idea of a soldier heading off to war and being able to die for his or her country, but not being able to drink a beer legally.

Currently, states cling to the 21-year-old drinking age because federal highway funds are tied to having that as the standard.

We feel that much more discussion on the issue of the drinking age needs to happen, but until it does, 21 is the legal drinking age - that's the law that must be obeyed.

But back to the reasons we're against a social host ordinance in Craig.

It's time for parents to act like parents and stop relying on government to be the mommy or daddy. Especially when it comes to young adults (those younger than 21) and alcohol.

We all have a responsibility to teach our children the difference between right and wrong and to make sure they understand the law and obey it, whether the issue is alcohol use or shoplifting or cheating on a test or something else.

But we need to teach them how to deal with real-world situations; they should be prepared for when they are offered alcohol to either say no or to at least know how to drink alcohol responsibly - not binging or drinking and driving.

We also have a responsibility to obey the law, ourselves, and not provide alcohol to those too young to legally drink it.

Comments

oldgezzer 5 years, 11 months ago

are these people out of their frickin' minds. this ordinanance is not just about the parents who host and provide, but about older brothers, sisters and friends who host parties also. this commentary really doesnt suprise me. i saw one of the editorial boards' members sons one night pull into a local liqour store with another youth. pull out two pony kegs of beer out of the back of the truck his mommy and daddy let him drive, and take them into the liquor store to turn them in after a weekend of partying. this youth is only sixteen, an adult had to get these kegs. how did a sixteen year old get them? if he would have been pulled over with them in the back of his parents truck he would have been issued an m.i.p. so obviously she does not have a problem with her son drinking, and it wouldnt suprise me if they allow him to drink at home too. but if he were to get drunk and crash their truck, she would be the first person to want something to be done to the person that provided her son the alchohol, and if there is nothing done because there is not an ordinance, she would be down at the next city council meeting demanding one. people dont get the big picture until they are right in the middle of it. its illegal for bars and liquor stores to provide alchohol to minors, it should be just as illegal for adults and parents to provide liquor in the way of hosting parties for minors. although there are laws in the state books on this the city of craig needs to take a real stance on this. but as long as there is a group for the newspaper saying we dont, then the rest of the town will go along with this, because they wouldnt put it in the paper if it wasnt true. the editorial board needs to wake up.

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JDR4 5 years, 11 months ago

Bars and liquor stores take on the responsibility to be ethical and law biding as a business.

As parents should take on the role of a parent.

Not a city council.

For once the editorial board got it right.

//haven't seen much more drinkin' in too many places than Craig though.

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oldgezzer 5 years, 11 months ago

yes your right, but adults, including parents should take on the responsibility to be ethical and law abiding also. but unfortunately they are not. just like there are leash laws for irresponsible pet owners, traffic laws for irresponsible drivers, child abuse laws for irresponsible parents..... i think you get my point. but who will be responsible when a underage drunk kills someone on the road after partying at his friends house, and the parents say its ok. pray its not one of your family members that gets hurt.

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lostyermarbles 5 years, 11 months ago

People need to be told how to put their shoes on now day's. People can't be responsible for themselves these day's or teach their kid's right from wrong but when something goes wrong they are looking for anyone but themselves to blame. One day there will be so many law's there won't be any freedom. But if you keep relying on one for this and that one day you wont' be able to move without asking then they will wonder what happened to late. And as "long as no one is looking" ....

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notmpoppins 5 years, 11 months ago

There are already laws on the books concerning "contributing to a minor" We don't need any more laws, we need to enforce the laws we have. They need to be enforced regardless of the persons last name, their social or economic status, or if they are "locals".
Is this possible in today's system? A system that continually makes it more difficult for law enforcement to do their jobs? A system where "who you are" and "how much money you have" speaks louder than anything.
Maybe it's time for parents to start being parents, real parents, the kind that are more concerned about emphasizing the differance between right and wrong than if they are their kids best friends, the "cool" parents.
Maybe it's time to take our communities back and start demanding these laws are enforced and prosecuted. Time to stand behind our law enforcement when they are doing their jobs and let everyone know that breaking the law, any law, will not be tolerated in this community!

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citizensforgrowth 5 years, 11 months ago

I wonder if the editorial board is against a rec center because it would be redundant.

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