CORNER: Drunk Driving Awareness - everywhere else




December is Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month in the United States. But not this year in Clinton. 

Every December since 1981 has been set aside by the President to recognize the danger of driving while under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.

The holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is described as one of the deadliest and most dangerous times of the year because of an increase in drunk and drugged driving. Alcohol-induced traffic fatalities increase by 34%.

Declaring and proclaiming not to drive while impaired does not solve the problem. We share the road with people who decide it’s OK to drive while they are drunk. They put us and our relatives, our friends and others in danger. 

The Substance Abuse Council says: “By educating and setting a good example, we can begin to turn the tide of impaired driving…”

But not in Clinton. Not this year.

December, 2017, was proclaimed Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month in Clinton by Clinton City Council. Gary Kuykendall’s motion was seconded by Robbie Neal and then passed unanimously.

Several days prior to each month’s council meeting, council members and members of the media receive a proposed agenda. Also included is supplemental information about most of the items on the agenda. Information sent as part of the Dec. 3, 2018 agenda packet included “A Resolution Proclaiming The Month of December 2018 As Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month in the City of Clinton.”

The original proposed agenda sent out included this item: CITY COUNCIL to consider the following Proclamations: (Page 8) 

December as Drunk and Drug Driving Prevention Month.

The agenda was changed two times before the meeting and new agendas were sent out. The Drunk and Drug Driving Prevention Month proclamation was removed on Agenda #2 and Agenda #3. So, somebody didn’t want Clinton City Council to come out against drunk driving this year.

Anyone got a clue why?

Since this proclamation will NOT be part of the official record of the Dec. 3 meeting, here is some of what was on the resolutions that was not considered by council:

“Community-based programs involving consumer education, effective laws and strong police enforcement have proven to be successful in reducing impaired driving.

“Now therefore be it resolved that the City Council of the City of Clinton assembled does hereby proclaim December 2018 as National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month in the City of Clinton and hereby call upon all citizens, government agencies, organizations, business leaders, hospitals, schools and public and private institutions in Clinton to promote awareness of the impaired driving problem, to support programs and policies to reduce the incidence of impaired driving, to promote safer and healthier behaviors regarding the use of alcohol and other drugs this December holiday season and throughout the year.”

Did you catch that? Strong police enforcement. 

That means, if you get stopped in Clinton and you’re drunk, you’re getting charged. Doesn’t matter who you are. Then, the solicitor’s office makes sure you face the consequences. Doesn’t matter who you are.

Clinton City Council choose not to go on record opposing drunk and drugged driving.

The audacity of some of the things going on in the M.S. Bailey Municipal Center is stunning. 


(Larry Franklin is retired and lives in Clinton.)

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