I applaud and support the mayor’s decision to veto Bill No. 2635 relating to selling alcohol at the Wailua Golf Course with roving concessions.
If anything, this is about public safety and should never be about economics.
Since taking office as Kauai’s Chief of Police in October 2007 we have had hundreds of car crashes.
From 2012 to present we have arrested almost 1,200 drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Of those collisions, approximately 63 were very serious crashes resulting in 69 deaths on our roadways. Alcohol was a contributing factor in over 30 percent of the traffic fatalities.
The victims were family members, friends, and visitors to our island home.
This is just one aspect relating to the detrimental effects of alcohol. Here is what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism say about the short and long term health risks of alcohol:
1. Injuries, such as motor vehicles crashes, falls, drowning, and burns
2. Violence, including homicide, domestic violence, suicide, sexual assault, etc.
3. Alcohol poisoning
4. Risky behavior
5. High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems
6. Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon
7. Learning and memory problems, including dementia
8. Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety
9. Social problems, including lost productivity, family problems, and unemployment
10. Alcohol dependence, or alcoholism
While alcohol is allowed in many venues, our leaders should not contribute to what is already a growing problem where a drug — yes, alcohol is a drug — is allowed to be consumed in a public environment to the detriment of both that person, and potential innocent victims.
No matter how it is rationalized, the overall impact of allowing more alcohol to be served at the Wailua Golf Course adjacent Kuhio Highway is a very bad decision and detrimental to the public we are sworn to protect.
Darryl D. Perry is chief of the Kauai Police Department.