Craighead County's alcohol ban; creating a false hope for safety in dry counties
Published: Monday, November 4, 2013
Updated: Monday, November 4, 2013 18:11
At 15 months old I was nearly killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver.
It is a miracle, in a sense, that I am even alive today. For that reason alone, I feel quite attached to the dry county issue that has plagued Craighead County for so long.
For 37 years I have lived in this county, and I have watched it grow from a dry county to what can only be referred to now as a moist county.
I guess what I am asking is, has the concept of a dry county worked practically?
In the case of our county, I would have to say no.
The theory was that if we had a county where no one could buy liquor, then we would not have to deal with the issues of alcohol.
Things like beer bottles in the streets, drunk-driving accidents or issues of public intoxication would be minimal.
Unfortunately, we still have to deal with those issues, and prohibition makes some of them worse.
Take drunk-driving for instance. Since we are a “dry” county, people have to get out on the open road, drive farther and drive faster, on a dark highway no less, just to get alcohol.
When I worked as a volunteer EMT, I went to many wrecks where people were on their way to the liquor store for the second time.
If these people would have been able to drive on well-lit city streets for just a few blocks instead of 15 miles on the open highway, then many of these accidents may have never happened, or at least with the consequences of traveling at such high speeds.
Not only has the premise failed in practical application, but it also drives millions of tax dollars to the surrounding counties.
Since Craighead County is the most densely-populated county in the NEA area, it just makes sense for us to keep that revenue base in our own county.
Imagine all we could do for our county roads and schools if we were to have access to that capital.
I believe the most important issue is how we look like such hypocrites to the people around us and the rest of the U.S.
There are many places in Jonesboro where an adult can go and drink. Alcohol is everywhere in this county, except a store for those people who just want to sit at home and drink.
To those people who want to go out, party all night, then drive home drunk, we cater to their every need by giving them plenty of places to go and indulge themselves.
Like the most interesting man in the world would say, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I hate driving 20 miles to buy it.”