SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Intoxicated driver = Possible tragedy
By John Maki


January 20, 2006
Friday AM

Tony Alenskis apparently believes that a person who has overdosed on a central nervous system depressant (and that is exactly what intoxication by alcohol is) and being in control of a car, boat, etc., is a victimless crime. He cannot be more wrong.

One of the jobs of laws and law enforcement is the protection of citizens. If one were to lose their life in an automobile accident in the United States, there is about a 30 percent chance that it involved an intoxicated driver. In Alaska, there is a 1 in 2 chance that it does. Rather than doing too much, we are doing too little education and enforcement.

An intoxicated operator doesn't sit behind a wheel and wait to get sober before driving. His or her ability to make good decisions is diminished. With keys readily available, common sense says the driver will drive. Is law enforcement supposed to wait for an accident to take action and prevent a possible tragedy? Having a strict law like this serves as a deterrent and hopefully sends a message. Unfortunately, sometimes the only thing that keeps people from making dumb decisions is the fear of the consequences. No consequences and they keep making dumb decisions.

I wish Mr. Alenskis could see the video "Alaska's Black Plaque" that recounts the deadly accidents involving alcohol in 2000. At the end of the video are interviews with the persons left behind, wives, daughters, and friends, but most compelling, the father of 3 young daughters who is serving a 22 year prison sentence for his and alcohol's role in ending the lives of two innocent men.

John Maki
Ketchikan, AK - USA


About: John Maki is the deputy chief of police of Ketchikan. In addition, he has 27 years experience in a sheriff's office in Colorado and 5 years teaching in and directing a police academy.

Related Viewpoint:

letter PRIVILAGE OR RIGHT? By Tony Alenskis - Ketchikan, AK - USA



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