It is very appropriate that the State of Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol has a great push on during the Aug. 15 to Sept. 15 period to help stop drinking and driving. This is the beginning of a new school year and our children and grandchildren are back on the road to their schools each day.It has always been amazing to me that there are laws against drinking and driving yet people can purchase alcohol at most any store, bar or restaurant and get in their car and drive. It is hypocritical to think people who drive to these establishments will not go out and get in their automobiles and drive under the influence. If you are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, this is a more serious charge than a charge of just having a particular drug in your blood. How serious a problem is driving under the influence (DUI)? Extremely serious: 30% of Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash during their lives. Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is probably one of the most commonly committed crimes. State laws specify the levels of blood alcohol content (0.08 in MS) at which a person is presumed to be under the influence.
Now the City of Columbus (“City Sets Hearing On Sunday Alcohol” front page headlines in the Commercial Dispatch Tuesday Aug. 25th) is considering making it legal to sell alcohol in establishments on Sunday. The Council has already given these establishments the right to sell alcohol six days a week from 10 a.m. until 1 a.m. The guise for the Sunday sales is to generate tax revenue. Why not just cut back on services until the economy turns back. Do our elected officials ever think of cutting costs instead of trying to raise taxes? Our Federal government is a perfect example of not doing so and it is going to cost us dearly. Look at the debt that we are piling on our children and grandchildren. One day and it looks soon we want be worried about all the give away programs because this great country will be bankrupt, then we will be looking at the dead golden goose. Then where will all the recipients of the give away programs be? We all will be the losers and back to earning our living by the sweat of our brow.
But back to the point of alcohol sales on Sunday. Is not six days a week enough City Council? Do we not have any respect for the Lord”s day anymore? It doesn”t matter what I say or what you say, but we better understand that it does matter what the Lord says “Remember the Sabbath Day (Sunday for Christians) and keep it holy.” I want to thank Charlie Box for his stance against Sunday sales of alcohol. I just want to ask the other Council members to think long and hard about this matter and the fact you might lose one of your parents, children or grandchildren to a socially acceptable drinker after allowing another day of drinking and driving to be added to the week. Just let the statistics and the Lord guide you is my prayer.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.