Jeff Womble: Ordinance's downside outweighed by benefits


— To the editor:

I would like to respond to Ms. Day's letter to the editor printed Saturday.

First, I would like to commend her for attending the Craig City Council meeting and taking her family. She is right - it is great to go and show our children how to be involved.

Ms. Day voices some concerns about the proposed ordinance that would allow police to get a warrant to enter private property to search for evidence if they have probable cause to suspect minors are consuming alcohol.

She gives three examples of what she sees as possible problems with this ordinance.

In her first example, she worries that she may be held responsible if her child and a friend decide to get into her wine, without her permission, while she is asleep. Should she be held responsible? Yes.

Our children remain our responsibility whether we are awake, asleep, at work, out of town or whatever. Also, a child that has been entrusted to our care for an overnighter is also our responsibility.

With regards to someone celebrating an engagement (or anything) with a glass of champagne while under age; yes, a law is being broken.

Why shouldn't there be a consequence?

In the third example, Ms. Day discusses using alcohol in cooking and letting her daughter have a taste. While I agree that "one drop does not cause delinquency," someone who has never had a drop can never have a problem with alcohol.

As a surgeon that has worked in five different Level 1 trauma centers, I have seen the effects alcohol can have. It is rare that a trauma occurs in the absence of the influence of some sort of substance.

Alcohol is the No. 1 culprit. I continue to see those effects here in our own emergency department. Small communities are not immune.

I commend the City Council for looking at this issue and I support the proposed ordinance.

In my opinion, any possible "downside" is outweighed by the possible benefits.

Jeff Womble



srelaford6 7 years, 5 months ago

OK, This Guy needs to look at a bigger picture. Jeff here thinks that a glass of wine is going to cause your child to have a tramatic injury. Get real. I grew up in the 80's, right here in Craig. I can tell you I have had my share of alcohol as a minor. Rest assured, my parents didn't know what was happening or at least I don't think so. I am doing just fine. Still have all my fingers and toes. I have traveled to many countries where wine is served with dinner, even to the children. There crime rates aren't any worse than here. I have been to bars in Germany where 16 yr old minors were allowed to drink until 9:00 pm. Looks like they are doing fine also. Do I feel that if a parent lets there kids get blind drunk and let them run around town acting all crazy that they shouldn't be punished? Yea, I feel they should. My opinion is, The City Council here feel that we ,as parents, are unable to care for our own children . In reality its because they don't have any real answers to the problem of teenage drinking. Punishing the liquor stores and establishments that sell to the minor isn't working. Even though there has been several sting operations in town that busted many sellers, But the sellers say the're sorry and get there liquor license back with no penalty phase to speak of. So now, Its the parents who get to pay for their kids actions. I can say this in all honesty, because I was a kid once , If I wanted alcohol as a kid I could always find it. My parents had no idea what I had up my sleeve. And I never once concidered what would happen if I got caught. Think back to the time you had your first drink. Wasn't it an uncle or dad who asked you to try a sip of some drink they had in their hand? And one more comment. Having two teenage boys and a couple more teenagers coming up soon, I know from experience that telling a kid a hundred times is not going to stop them from trying something. I think it actually encourages there couriosity and then they want to know what the big deal is. Its like telling someone," if you leave your hand in the door jam when you close the door , its going to hurt " . That is sometimes not enough for them to get it. Let them shut the door on their hand once, they will remember for the rest of their lives.


als362 7 years, 5 months ago

Yes the parents should pay for their childrens actions. This is not anything new, parents have always been responsible for their childrens actions, but now the stakes are getting higher. Maybe when you were a kid, you did drink and get away with it. Perhaps even a police officer or some other adult took you home or let you go home. But that can never happen again. When you were a kid there were no Mad Mothers, or lawyers that do nothing but bring lawsuits on others. It isn't the same situation as when you were a teenager. Maybe for the most part the people haven't changed, but the world as a whole has changed. You just can't do the things you did as a teenager and expect to get away with it, like you did back then. And if the City does nothing about these types of things some crazy lawyer will find a way to sue them, and we will all be paying for that for years. That is why the City is propsing an ordinance of this type.


George Robertson 7 years, 5 months ago

Every time one says "there ought to be a law" what in effect is being said "they should further limit what little freedom we have left" There are enough laws on the books now to deal with this very problem.


als362 7 years, 5 months ago

Hooray for bluestflameco, that is exactly correct.


bluestflameco 7 years, 5 months ago

Responsibility is responsibility. We have to be an example to instill it. I'm pretty tired of parents claiming that they are not responsible for the actions of their children. You had'em; they're yours. It's not perfect, but it's a good way to get the people who haven't learned how to step up to the parenting plate to take a big bite of their long overdue dinner.


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