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.