MADD speaks out against Colo. law to extend bar closings

drunk driving

(Photo: MGN Online)

DENVER — Mothers Against Drunk Driving announced its opposition to new legislation that would extend the cut-off hour for bars to sell alcohol.

In a press release issued Friday, MADD said it opposes HB 1132, which is a proposed bill that would enable establishments in cities throughout Colorado to have different cut-off times for last call on alcohol sales.

Passage of this bill could have far-reaching public safety implications for the entire state,” said Fran Lanzer, MADD Colorado State executive director. “As one of the largest victim services organizations in the country, we see the devastating effects of drunk and drugged driving. In Colorado, MADD works with hundreds of families and individuals who have had a loved one taken from them or suffered life-altering injuries because of drunk driving crashes.”

The release stated that in 2012, 133 Colorado lives were taken as a result of drunk driving, and thousands more were injured.

“This bill is a risk for our state,” added retired Colorado State Patrol Col. Mark Trostel. “At a time when law enforcement budgets are already stretched thin, putting an increased burden on the troopers and officers who keep our roads safe is dangerous and irresponsible.”

Mitch Morrissey, Denver’s DA, also expressed opposition to the proposed bill, asking lawmakers to do more research before passing legislation that could potentially endanger lives.

MADD proposed that bars consider staying open later to sell food and provide entertainment, rather than continuing the sale of alcohol. The organization said this would help prevent a mass exodus onto the streets at 2 a.m. as well as give bar owners the opportunity to identify individuals who might require assistance with getting home safely.

Lanzer closed by saying that the new bill would “increase the likelihood of drunk drivers attempting to obtain one last drink, by traveling from a municipality with an earlier last drink time to one with a later one.”