Ovenight Parking for Drunks


Ovenight Parking for Drunks

The following letter to the editor was forwarded from a reader in State College PA.

The Centre County District Attorney’s Office and six area
police departments have begun to target drunken drivers, and I agree that there
is a major problem with drunk drivers in this area and something must be done
to stop them from driving drunk.

I also think that State College deserves some blame for several recent accidents.

I am the mother of three past or present Penn State students who occasionally went to the bars downtown. Their major complaint was
that parking was not allowed overnight in the borough.

The bars close at 2 a.m. and at 2 a.m. all parked cars must
be moved. What message does this send to our young people?

If their cars were not driven away at night, they had to
pay either a major parking ticket or have their cars towed, costing more than
$100. Even a $15 parking ticket is a lot of money to these students.

Thankfully, my kids received a lot of parking tickets
because they chose to stay at a friend’s house downtown rather than to drive
home. Also, many times we have driven them downtown and then picked them up at
2 a.m.

The borough should provide a place for these young adults
to leave their cars downtown by providing free or low-cost parking.

Also, more taxi cabs or buses should be available in the
early-morning hours to take these kids to their homes.

In loco Parentis — In place of the parent. Give me a break. This mom wants the city parking folks to replace her. What’s the deal — no one in State College ever heard of designated drivers. So, they can afford to go to bars and get falling down drunk, but can’t afford the parking tickets…

The message it sends is that if you are mature enough to go out and drink, you should be 1)mature enough to know that if you are impared or going to be impared you should make arrangements in advance and /or 2)You shouldn’t drink as much. Period.


Give me a break, lady — if you can’t pay the fine, don’t do the crime.

This is the height of absurdity, and I think a harbinger of the downfall of civilization as we know it.



Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

5 Responses

  1. So how much money did you donate to the republican party during the 2006 election cycle? You seem to be one of those “As Long As I’m Okay” kind of guys (e.g., republican).
    I can see how a situation like the one she describes can be very bad. One time we had a Halloween party that was dispersed by police; everyone was drunk and was sent home (or at least told to go away) around 12.30am. Luckily I lived in an urban neighborhood at the time, so my friends and I could just go outside and walk around until the alcohol wore off. But what if there was nowhere to go? Did they expect everyone to get in their cars and drive home? Maybe they could have a cop sitting a few blocks away tagging (fund raising) drunk drivers. At $700 a pop, it’s worth it to break up parties.
    The lady in the article is absolutely right. Here in Minneapolis they opened a light rail transit line — but it only runs until about 1am, not 2am when the bars close. People have nowhere to go.
    Maybe if you were in her situation, you’d understand the problem better. College students drink. College students get drunk. Those are universal facts. Nobody wants to be a designated driver. Drunk driving kills people and something should be done about the situation she describes.
    After reading some of your rants, I can tell that it would take actually being in her situation before you’d get the picture.

  2. Very interesting blog–I’m enjoying it. But I’m wondering if you have something against question marks. Most of your posts have questions ending in periods. What’s up with that.

  3. The UK has PUBLIC TRANSIT. They don’t NEED to drive drunk. And that is exactly the point I made about Minneapolis. Get drunk, get on a train, don’t kill anyone. Simple.
    Sure, set up a solution BEFORE you drink. That’s a good idea, and I agree. But a “solution” means nothing after an innocent person gets killed by a drunk driver. At that point it’s too late for a solution.
    Blah, blah, personal responsiblity — the tired mantra of the neocons.

  4. Ah Disco — Everything is politics — Lets see if I get this straight — It is the responsiblity of the city to provide for the minority of people who decide, wholly on their own, to party, drink, and then have no way to get home. They get loud, they bother neighbors, they maybe even break things, and expect the world to take care of them. The laws in the UK, for instance, are so strict that if you get even on drunk driving arrest you don’t drive for a couple of years. People over there simply don’t do it. They either don’t drink, designate a driver, or they walk, sleep it off, or whatever.
    Its all about personal responsibility. If you are required to be responsible for your own actions, you will ensure that they don’t affect others. If you believe that you don’t have to be responsible, you will expect others to take care of you.
    College is as good a time as any to learn the lessons of life. If you drink, you are responsible for your actions. Drink and drive, go to jail. Drink and make a complete idiot out of yourself, lose your friends. Drink and wreck the place, pay the price.
    Reread your post. Drunk driving kills people. Yep — so why not set up a solution BEFORE you drink?
    This woman says that if there was a place that people could park their cars for free and not be ticketed, they would not drive. HUH? They can’t see the difference between a $40 parking ticket and a $700 DWI, not to mention the potential for a much greater personal fine, but they can make the decision to leave their cars and take a cab.
    My experience, that is my PERSONAL experience, is that when alcohol impares your ability to make such decisions goes away. Many simply drive because they “think” they still can.
    PS, The “right of Attilla the hun” crowd actually is extremely live and let live. It’s not ‘as long as I am OK’ its “Let me make my own decisions, leave me alone, I am an adult and can take care of myself and neither need or want the government to tell me how to live, or what to do, and I’ll do the same for you, as long as you keep in mind a few basic tenents that keeps society together.” Our argument, if there is one, is just what those tenents are.

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