Letters: Extending bar hours won't curb drunk driving; saddened by Westminster's holiday spirit downtown

Extended bar hours won’t reduce drunk driving

As someone who has personally experienced the loss of a father-in-law due to a drunk driver — and seen his broken family’s never-ending anguish — I found Mr. Christopher Tomlinson’s Dec. 24 opinion letter “Keep Carroll Bars Open and Hour Later” as appalling as it is absurd.

He argues that patrons of Carroll County bars (which must all close at 1 a.m.) will, in his words, “race” up Route 97 to Pennsylvania bars that stay open unit 2 a.m., or “speed” down Route 140 to Baltimore County bars (never mind that transit time alone probably averages 30 minutes).

Because the surrounding counties have a later closing time than Carroll, patrons have been known to leave the bar and race straight to the closest bar over the county line. If the lights could stay on just one more hour, the days of intoxicated drivers sprinting for the county line would decrease.

And, in an even more inane argument, he alleges that roads are made unsafe due to this late-night pilgrimage for one more drink.

If anyone is that desperate for more alcohol after 1 a.m. they better go home and get off the roads for the sake of the rest of us.


His rationalization is purely anecdotal. There are no data to substantiate his fractured thesis.

But here’s some real data for Mr. Tomlinson. According to the MVA, 24,000 Marylanders were arrested for drunk driving in 2015. The state’s annual average is at least 4,000 injuries and 175 deaths related to drunk driving accidents.

Even with these depressing numbers, Maryland is among the 10 states with the fewest alcohol-impaired driving deaths, according to a 2018 study. Still, one drunk driving death is one too many.

Carroll County bar owners can offer a rational reason to lobby for extended hours — monetary profit. But let’s not be so disingenuous as to imply it could reduce DUI-related mayhem on our roads.


Ray Villard


FBI reaching too far

Donald Trump’s attorney recently said the only thing left to ask the president was about “several unpaid parking tickets.”

Wrong Mr. Giuliani. The FBI needs to execute a search warrant to search the president’s bureau drawer to see if his underwear has a Chinese label attached.

Marvin Flickinger


Shame about Westminster’s holiday spirit

I would like to respond to Sandra Gatta’s letter to editor “What happened to Main Street Westminster?” I happen to know the former employee (now retired after working for the city for 40 years). This employee loves Christmas and took pride in his work for the city of Westminster. It showed in the past years of the beautiful displays at Christmas and other signs of work and promotions done to promote people to visit this historic city.

A longtime resident wonders what happened to the Christmas cheer on Main Street in Westminster; another challenges a past letter writer on his "12 Days of Christmas" costs, and another reminds us of the true reason for the season.

It is a shame that the tradition did not continue this year. I hope this is not a sign of things to come for Westminster.

Connie Welsh


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