Letters to the Editor

Add your voice for safe roads | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

Recently our organization received some complaints about patrons who left their cars overnight at Element and found the next day they’d been towed away. One remarked “Hey, the driver is trying to do the right thing and not DUI. The next time they’ll just go ahead and drive so as not to get a towing charge.”

They all wanted to know what IDIPIC (Impaired Driving Impact Panel of Island County) was doing about this.

As a side note, while not many South Whidbey folks may patronize the island’s “big city nightclub,” similar scenarios may occur at other drinking establishments there. To think before one drinks is to ensure one or perhaps more arrive alive.

One of our board members contacted Element management who explained that the Department of Motor Vehicles does testing on the weekend.

Therefore all the vehicles have to be out of the parking lot. They advised patrons to park along the sidewalks, by the bank and city beach parking lots if they decide not to drive home.

That being said, we at IDIPIC frequently get asked what we are doing about such things as getting alcohol off the ferries, lowering the BAC to .05 (like British Columbia recently did) or even to .00, reducing BAC for under 21 in our state to .00 (it’s now actually .02), and so on.

IDIPIC has neither the funds, resources nor clout to do anything about these concerns. But as John Lennon — who would have turned 70 on Oct. 9 and ironically whose mother was killed by an off-duty police officer driving under the influence — sang: Power to the people!

As my wordage here is limited, let me share just one way people have power regarding DUI (besides not doing it or allowing others to): If you have a problem or concern, contact the people directly. In this case, the business. If it’s of bigger scope, contact your local legislators.

They want to hear from you, not a “special interest group.”

Here’s their e-mails and hotline phone number: bailey.barbara@leg.wa.gov; smith.norma@leg.wa.gov; haugen.marymargaret@ leg.wa.gov; or call 1-800-562-6000.

Remember, we’re all on these roads together.

JoAnn Hellmann


Impaired Driving Impact Panel of Island County

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