In The News

DUIs serve to refill our coffers and replenish community service labor pool

By: Judith Chapin

Sarah Longwell’s article in last Sunday’s editorial section was well stated. I agree 100 percent with her; lowering the BAC limit to 0.05 from 0.08 is about more revenue in Utah’s coffers. It certainly isn’t for “safety” reasons.

The other purpose for issuing DUI’s rarely or never mentioned are the hours of “community service” that each person must perform if found guilty of a DUI or other minor criminal offenses. Community service is really a cleaned-up version of the word servitude or bondage. Described in the dictionary, servitude is “compulsory service or labor as a punishment for criminals; and slavery or bondage of any kind.”

Hundreds of community service workers in the Grand Valley are assigned to our hospitals, nursing homes, and not-for profit businesses every single day. They work in their laundries, kitchens, perform ground maintenance, and other menial tasks without pay. Each facility is guaranteed a certain number of community workers on a daily basis, allowing these facilities to operate without having to put the required number of workers on their payrolls.

For every community worker, there is one less full-time employee who would be contributing to our economy. When the pool is running low it’s round-up time for our local authorities: to re-fill our coffers and replenish the community service labor pool.

I hope Colorado has enough common sense not to follow Utah and lower the BAC down to 0.05. It’s frightful enough at 0.08, when going out in the evening for dinner, have a glass of wine maybe to celebrate an anniversary or to enjoy a social event and seeing that blue/red/white flash of light in your rearview mirror on your way home.