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August 22, 2013 at 7:21 AM
Take it further
Washington State University’s new alcohol policies are a step in the right direction. [“Editorial: Campus drinking: ‘Cougs looking out for Cougs,’” Opinion, Aug. 19.]
The concept of training students what to do when a friend is sick is a terrific idea, as a majority of alcohol-poisoning deaths occur when friends let an inebriated student “sleep it off.”
Realize, however, that schools nationwide have adopted countless alcohol-prevention programs and initiatives with little long-term success. One program with documented success is Soteer.
In line with WSU President Elson Floyd’s call of “Cougs taking care of Cougs,” Soteer focuses on “students helping students stay safe,” and takes this idea one step further by training students in bystander intervention, who then attend parties to apply their knowledge and change the trajectory of a student’s night before a problem occurs. Soteer trains its monitors in signs and symptoms of drug and alcohol abuse, intervention techniques, rape awareness and general safety.
This approach may compliment WSU’s wonderful and thoughtful new policies.
Paul Millman, CEO of Soteer, LLC, White Plains, N.Y.
May 6, 2013 at 7:03 AM
Alcoholism must be treated like a disease
In my opinion, implementing stiffer DUI penalties, such mandatory jail time, is not the answer for drunken drivers [“Despair. Pain. Resolve.,” page one, May 1]. I want to preface my comments by saying I had a brother who was an alcoholic and ended up committing suicide, and now a family member who got picked up for DUI.
Breathalyzers, financial penalties and jail time are neither the fix nor deterrents. I can guarantee my brother wouldn’t have cared.
Alcoholism is a disease and needs to be treated as such. It’s like cancer; early detection and treatment may save the person. How about making every place (like bars) require people to take a breath test before leaving? How about more education about the effects of alcohol shown in schools?
We’ve become a nation that romanticizes drinking. Look at any ad for alcohol; it shows the person having fun or finding a beautiful person.
Spend money for mandatory treatment centers — rehab centers to specifically treat the problem. Deep down, alcoholics have no intention of hurting anyone. They’re just not cognizant of their situation.
Take a look at Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn He got a DUI; do you think he really intended to be driving?
The actions being talked about for DUI aren’t going to fix the problem. Take it from someone who has seen the worst with alcohol. It’s a disease, so attack it as such.
Richard Charlson, Curlew
May 4, 2013 at 6:03 AM
Don’t subsidize craft distilleries
I am most distressed by the craft distilleries bill [“Craft distilleries bill,” Business, May 3]. This bill subsidizes rich hobbyists and a line of business that we don’t really have any state interest in.
We won’t drink less booze and we will not be collecting the taxes for the state. Why not collect the taxes from regular big distillers and subsidize education or parks with this tax money?
This isn’t a public health, police, park or transportation issue, in which maybe a little juice from the state makes a difference.
We need the tax money and craft distillers need to figure out how to pay the taxes because we should not be subsidizing them.
Peter Lance, Kenmore
April 25, 2013 at 8:02 AM
Do not take away right to buy alcohol
Stripping DUI offenders of the right to buy alcohol will be even less effective than the laws banning kids from buying booze and cigarettes [“Editorial: Tighten DUI laws but don’t rush,” Opinion, April 24]. Carding is ridiculously easy to defeat and putting an interlock device on a car or an alcohol-detecting bracelet on a offender has to be foolproof or they’re useless.
I don’t normally agree with guest columnist John Carlson much but taking the car away from offenders has to be, at some point, part of the fix to stopping repeat-DUI offenders.
Maybe for a first offense, put a nonremovable boot on the car right in the driveway or parking spot for 30 days, or impound the car and then increase the penalty with each offense until taking the car away is the only option.
Don Curtis, Clinton
April 1, 2013 at 4:00 PM
Take away the vehicle
Why do lawmakers think a habitual drunken driver is going to follow the law? [“Do state DUI laws go far enough?” page one, March 31.]
People such as Mark Mullan have no regard for the law and no regard for anyone other than themselves. Mullan thumbed his nose at court orders. He even had the gall to arrive at a DUI hearing drunk. He drove without the ignition lock the court ordered he have installed. He drove after his license was taken away.
Are there really any drunken drivers who stop driving when their license is taken away? It’s time to start impounding the vehicles of drunken drivers.
In reference to the deaths of Dennis and Judy Schulte and serious injury of their daughter-in-law and baby grandson, state House Public Safety Committee Chairman Roger Goodman said, “I don’t know if we could have prevented a tragedy like that.”
You can prevent it by taking away the vehicle. Taking away the license doesn’t stop the drunken driver from getting behind the wheel. Without his truck, Mullan wouldn’t have been able to mow down, maim, kill and destroy a happy family.
– Debbie Wilson, Everett
Stronger punishments needed
How many times do innocent people have to keep losing their lives because of drunken drivers in not only this state but across this great nation?
It is really distressing to continuously see drivers with multiple DUI convictions still out on our roads. The laws need to change, and they need to be tougher.
Something has to give because this is getting out of control, and maybe with stronger punishments some of these repeat offenders will change their ways and our roads can be safer for all.
– Jeff Swanson, Everett
Washington state has one of the toughest DUI laws in the country but if they’re not enforced what good are they? Mark Mullan had 5 DUIs. How come nobody followed up to see if an ignition lock device was installed? He just ignored the judge’s order and nobody checked?
This is an inexcusable and unacceptable tragedy. Mullan needs to be incarcerated and helped with his addiction.
My prayers go out to the remaining Schulte family.
– Carol Soderberg, Redmond
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