Letter to the Editor

SLO councilman to mayor: Prohibition is over

May 12, 2014 

City Councilman Dan Carpenter

TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO

Mayor Jan Marx, along with Cal Poly's vice president of student affairs, have asked bars to stop opening early on commencement day.

This is the mayor's request, not the city's and certainly not mine. Our "leaders" should stop interfering with personal choice in the consumption of a product that is legally served in our community.

It's most unfortunate that over-consumption is all too prevalent in the lifestyles of many students who pass through SLO. However, if these students are willing to expose this lack of self-control resulting in a "drunk in public" or "driving under the influence," then it's imperative that law enforcement have zero tolerance and promptly escort them to our County Jail.

That will have a more positive effect on the long-term drinking problem in our community than "asking" bars not to open early. If Cal Poly has problems with "unruly behavior" during graduation, then breathalyze students as they enter the stadium. If they are under the influence, insist that they leave immediately. Imagine the disappointment mom, dad and other relatives will have when their graduate is excluded. A final lesson in accountability could be the best gift from our "leaders" as students exit our city.

Please avoid the obvious temptation to put the behavior of graduating students on the backs of bar owners. When is our government going to stop nannying its citizens and force them to take personal responsibility? Maybe when society sees the value in individuals reaping the consequences of their actions.

Dan Carpenter is a member of the San Luis Obispo City Council.

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