Plan on it: Think ahead to avoid a drunken driving charge

This editorial first appeared in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

The week ahead often is a busy one for people — not so much in terms of work as in terms of social engagements. That being the case, it’s worth noting some advice the Alaska Department of Public Safety issued last week.

Alaska State Troopers recommended drivers “always have a plan to celebrate safely and responsibly.” If a holiday celebration is likely to involve alcohol or drugs, it’s simply wiser that a person plan in advance to stay overnight at the celebration location or arrange for a sober person to drive.

Based on what we all can read in reports from law enforcement officers, too many of us are unaware of our impairment levels when drinking. Some people, when asked by officers to gauge how inebriated they are, obviously are attempting to bluff to avoid further investigation and charges. Others, though, honestly are unaware of how much alcohol is in their bloodstreams and how badly it affects their judgments.

Better not take chances. If you know you’ll be having a few drinks or more, make a plan to stay the night or find someone else to drive. Someone always is available — driving a cab if nowhere else.

On Dec. 16, troopers began extra efforts to stop drivers under the influence. The patrols will continue through Jan. 2.

As of Dec. 22, troopers statewide already had made 30 DUI arrests, including five at the felony level.

Alaskans are helping by calling 911 when they see someone they believe is a drunken driver. Troopers call this being REDDI — reporting every dangerous driver immediately. Among such reports between Dec. 16 and 22, troopers said, only five identified people who were “ultimately determined not to be DUI.”

Other drivers have a good sense of who is impaired and who is not. And most other drivers have a cell phone. Don’t tempt them to use it. In fact, it’s best to plan on not doing so.

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Thu, 01/19/2017 - 09:41

Letter: A pro-life presidency is something to be thankful for

​On Jan. 20, we will see the inauguration of a new president. From the pro-life perspective, this is something to be thankful for. That day represents the departure from the White House of one of the most pro-abortion presidents we have seen to date. His replacement is a man who has voiced support for a number of pro-life, pro-family initiatives that will protect the rights of the unborn and their mothers. Read more

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 09:22

My Turn: Alaska’s national parks need infrastructure support

In 2016, the National Park Service celebrated its centennial anniversary. 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of Denali National Park, one of the many crown jewels in Alaska’s collection of our national parks. These parks represent the very best and most treasured public lands in our country. As we hear about badly needed infrastructure improvements to our roads, bridges and utilities nationwide, it’s important to remember that our national parks are not immune to these challenges. Denali National Park alone faces an infrastructure repair backlog to roads and facilities of $53 million.

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Thu, 01/19/2017 - 09:22

My Turn: Reflecting on why I love Alaska

Gov. Bill Walker issued a proclamation designating 2017 as a “Year of History and Heritage” in recognition of Alaska’s sesquicentennial — the 150th year since Russia ceded its possessions and interests in Alaska to the United States. Gov. Walker’s proclamation encourages all Alaskans “to study, teach, reflect upon our past, and apply its lessons to a brighter, more inclusive future.”

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Thu, 01/19/2017 - 08:47

Outside Editorial: NATO and the EU: Mend them, don’t end them

The following editorial first appeared in the Chicago Tribune:

In lamenting President Barack Obama's foreign and military policies, Republicans have frequently offered a concise summary: "Our allies don't trust us, and our enemies don't fear us." They didn't imagine the day would come when the same might be said of a Republican president. But that's the prospect Donald Trump raises. Read more

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