Ernie Johnson, facilitator for the Governor’s Council on Impaired Driving
(Gillette, Wyo.) Another appeal to Campbell County Business Owners to take a stand against drunk driving was made this afternoon on behalf of the Governor’s Council on Impaired Driving (GCID) and the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police (WASCOP).
While the number of alcohol-related DUI arrests in Campbell County are dropping, with the number of drug-related DUI arrests are climbing in its place. In total, over a thousand DUI arrests were made in Campbell County, and a significant portion of those arrests still involved alcohol, according to Ernie Johnson, facilitator of the GCID.
From what was said during the afternoon meeting, the community should consider taking a hand in preventing drunk driving.
Police Chief Jim Hloucal spoke of an instance where he was at a restaurant and observed an obviously intoxicated individual get up and attempt to leave. Hloucal stopped it and managed to find the individual a safe ride home, however, he was still surprised at the number of residents in the restaurant who did nothing.
Johnson ended the meeting with a call to action, imploring residents to stand against drunk driving at the source—over serving. If businesses do not over serve their customers, Johnson reasoned, then the possibility of a resident driving drunk is diminished.
Previous meetings with local business owners concerning them limiting how they serve their customers seemed to have been received unfavorably. Government interference in private business operation is not something most local residents would be okay with.
The only other alternative is that the government steps in, and government interference in private business operations is not something most residents would be okay with, Johnson said.
“But sometimes, you’re just gonna have to step into it if [businesses] are not willing to do the right thing,” said Johnson.
While no formal move towards establishing new ordinances to address the issue of preventing driving under the influence have been made, Johnson did say that the GCID and WASCOP will be presenting ideas to the city council at some point in the future.