One Statewide Closing Time Needed for Serving Alcohol
Denver, CO (February 8, 2017) — Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) opposes HB 1123, legislation that would extend the sale of alcohol in select communities.
MADD advocates setting uniform statewide cutoff limits on the sale of alcohol to discourage “barhopping” to find establishments with later closing hours, which can result in drunk driving.
HB 1123 would make it possible for establishments in different cities to have different closing times, which could result in an increase in impaired driving. In 2015, drunk driving took the lives of 151 people in Colorado and injured thousands more. This 100 percent preventable crime needlessly victimizes individuals and families in Colorado. Any change in State Law that might result in an increase in drunk driving should be examined with the highest scrutiny.
“Passage of this bill could have far-reaching public safety implications for the entire state,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “As the largest impaired driving victim services organizations in the country, MADD recognizes the seriousness of these crimes and our hearts are with the families and individuals who have been victimized.”
“Through the efforts of MADD, drunk driving is now socially unacceptable. Unfortunately, it is still tolerated,” said MADD Colorado State Executive Director Fran Lanzer. “HB 1123 will increase the likelihood of drunk drivers attempting to obtain one last drink by traveling from a municipality with an earlier last drink time to one with a later one. As a result, MADD opposes HB 1123 and urges lawmakers to support a uniform statewide bar closing time.”
“In 2016, our state saw a surge in traffic fatalities with 606 deaths on our Colorado roadways—the first time our state has surpassed 600 since 2005. Almost a third of those deaths resulted from drunk and drugged driving. A change like HB 1123 could make an already bad situation worse.”
MADD is joined in opposing HB 1123 by Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers. “While I cannot speak for the City Council, I am personally opposed to the bill, as I believe it would exacerbate, rather than mitigate problems with drunken patrons, including drunk driving,” Suthers said.
Other victim and law enforcement organizations, such as the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, Voices of Victims and the Association of Colorado State Patrol Professionals (ACSPP), also oppose the legislation.
MADD Colorado asks that concerned citizens make their voices heard by calling and emailing their Colorado State Representatives. Citizens can look up their legislators’ contact information at http://leg.colorado.gov/find-my-legislator.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America’s roads. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every 8.6 minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. Learn more at www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.
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