Madam Mayor and Mr. Vice-President, Prohibition ended more than 80 years ago. The mayor, along with Cal Poly’s vice president of student affairs, has 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 overconsumption is all too prevalent in the lifestyle 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” charge, then it’s imperative that law enforcement has zero tolerance and promptly escorts 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 the students as they enter the stadium. If one is found to be under the influence, insist that he or she 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 they 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, SLO City Council - San Luis Obispo