Where do the candidates stand on DUI enforcement?

October 31, 2004

Dear Editor:

As the election approaches, one public policy issue which has not been addressed by several city commissioner candidates might be of interest to voters. That issue pertains to recent news regarding alcohol sales and DUI enforcement in Danville.

At a recent commission meeting, it was pointed out that the $56,000 raised from the 5 percent regulatory fees during the first full year of alcohol sales went almost entirely to the pay for increased costs incurred by the city for administration of the new alcohol ordinance by local ABC officials.

Consequently, the police have received little, if any, of the proceeds from the alcohol regulatory fees for enforcement and patrol functions.


Voters might be interested in how the candidates stand on increasing the regulatory fees in order for the police to have the necessary manpower and enforcement funds at the end of the pipeline. Last year's police request for an additional officer was not funded.

Thus, relevant questions for candidates might include: Should the fee increase to 8 percent (as was originally proposed when the ordinance was drafted, and as is done in several other cities which were used as a "model" for the ordinance)? Or perhaps even more, so that the police have all they need for enforcement, in addition to the understandable need for increased ABC administrative costs to the city?

Other issues which will confront the next commission include questions about how much of the sharp increase in DUI citations is due to increased police enforcement, or increasing alcohol consumption? Does more enforcement totally account for the increase in such arrests, or are there actually more instances of driving while intoxicated? Or, if both, how much is attributable to each?

These might also be appropriate questions for an enterprising investigative reporter, but that is perhaps a subject for another letter.

Steve Wolfgang


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