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MADD fears proposed bill could encourage drunk driving

Data compiled by the Colorado Department of Transportation reveals that last year, 196 people lost their lives in drug or alcohol-related crashes. And CDOT also says that every day an average of 77 motorists are arrested for driving while impaired. And to deal with this issue, the agency has mounted a campaign emphasizing the severity of the penalties that could be imposed on drunk drivers.

Yet, while CDOT is attempting to quell the problem of intoxicated drivers on our state’s roadways, a new bill is being touted that the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving believes will make matters worse.

At present, House Bill 1123 is being considered by the Colorado legislature. The bill would grant the state’s municipalities the freedom to override the current prohibitions regarding the hours during which establishments can serve alcohol. At present, businesses are not allowed to serve alcohol from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Should the bill pass, cities will be permitted to set bar closing hours as they see fit. But MADD opposes the bill on the belief that it could motivate patrons who are drinking in a bar that closes to drive to bars that are open later in other communities. In short, MADD is of the opinion that the bill’s passage would put more drunk drivers on the road.

Still, there are those who believe that the staggered closing times between municipalities will spread out the number of intoxicated drivers on the road at any given time, which could be helpful to police who are trying to get the drivers off the road.

It’s hard to know for sure what would happen if this bill passes. But we do know that drunk drivers pose a grave and a common threat to all Colorado road users. And if you or a member of your family have been injured in an accident with an impaired driver, a Colorado personal injury attorney may be able to help you reap maximum compensation when filing claims with insurance companies.

Source: The Denver Post, “Colorado considers letting cities set bar hours; MADD worries change would boost drunken driving,” Tom McGee, Feb. 9, 2017