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Wednesday, Sep. 17, 2014

Drunk drivers pose danger to everyone

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Labor Day marks the end of the summer season. It's the way we celebrate the carefree days of summer one last time and head into the busy fall season.

But Labor Day, unfortunately, provides one last opportunity to worry about drunk drivers on the roadways.

Come Tuesday, this newspaper and countless others will report on some holiday tragedy involving alcohol. I can't recall a Memorial Day or Labor Day when that was not the case.

If you simply look at the numbers, our nation should be waging a war on alcohol and not a war on drugs. The misery in human terms and the cost to the public from drunk drivers is enormous.

We applaud the Sikeston Public Safety Department for their increased efforts to confront this problem. Public Safety announced this week they would increase checkpoints throughout the city to monitor seat belt usage, insurance cards and sobriety. And we also commend the Missouri Legislature for addressing drunk boaters on Missouri's waterways. The new law lowers the threshold for drinking to conform to the current laws on motorists.

All of the ranting in the world will change little. Some fools will continue to drink and drive. And their lack of responsibility endangers countless lives.

But sadly our court system too often looks upon drunk drivers with less severity than we feel appropriate. Something is wrong when a kid with a small amount of marijuana is jailed but a repeat drunk driver is simply fined and sent to an education class.

Let's hope and pray this final holiday is a safe one for all of our readers. And let's hope and pray that the message of safe and sober driving has a positive impact. If just one life is saved, it will be well worth the effort.