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TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

Extending last-call hours could make streets safer

It’s 10 p.m. Friday night. You get a call from your friends to meet at your favorite bar, so you jump in the shower and rush to get ready.11 p.m. – You meet your friends at the bar.

11:30 p.m. – You have to wait in line outside the bar.

11:45 p.m. – Finally, you are inside and have to wait again – this time at the bar – for a drink. You just started having a fantastic time when the last call for drinks comes 15 minutes later.

But you just got here!

Well, your friends are buzzed and your face is getting a little flushed from that Long Island Iced Tea. But the fun hasn’t even really begun yet.

What do you do? Call it a night? Yeah right.

No. You go someplace that has a later last call. Ahh, but how do you get there?

Generally, people have to drive to get from one place to another.

Let’s hope your designated driver didn’t punk out already.

So this is where the turning point happens. People have to make a decision about whether they should break the law to keep having a good time.

According to the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Web site, 2.1 million college students ages 18-24 drive under the influence of alcohol each year.

Extending last call hours won’t necessarily keep students from driving while intoxicated, but it could mean fewer drunk drivers on the road. At the same time, it is likely to be people who aren’t drinking behind the wheel.

Denton’s neighboring city, Frisco, has already taken the initiative.

Last call hours will be extended from midnight to 2 a.m. for bars in Frisco sometime this month thanks to a vote from Frisco City Council.

And there was support from what some would think an unlikely source – MADD.

The organization supported the decision to extend last call hours to 2 a.m. to create consistency and safer roads in the area. Since cities near Frisco had later last call hours, MADD said the staggered hours promoted bar hopping.

I think MADD has the right idea here.

If fewer intoxicated drivers were on the road between midnight and 2 a.m., then it would be less likely drunk driving-related accidents would occur between those times.

I’ve gone shopping at Wal-Mart around midnight a few times, and I always see moms with their small children.

Obviously, this is the only chance they get to go shopping or they just want to avoid busier shopping hours. Either way, they are there and are potentially in danger – essentially during drunk drivers’ rush hour.

I hate the thought of a mother driving home with her kids and getting hit by a drunk driver rushing to get to another bar.

If it is economically feasible, all Fort Worth bars, especially those catering to the growing population of college students, should have a last call at 2 a.m.

Extending last call hours would make everybody happy.

Fewer people would be driving with drunk drivers on the road, and those drinking could stay happy and drink later.

Gretchen Hollis is a senior news-editorial journalism major from Snyder.

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