To-go cock­tails rule makes al­co­hol more avail­able

The Maui News - - Opinion -

The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion is urg­ing our world to re­duce its al­co­hol in­take dur­ing the pan­demic as a proven way to lessen the in­ci­dences and sever­ity of COVID-19.

In­stead of seek­ing ways to sup­port ef­forts to re­duce al­co­hol con­sump­tion in our com­mu­nity, the Maui County Liquor Con­trol Com­mis­sion’s new to-go cock­tails rule has made al­co­hol more eas­ily con­sum­able and avail­able in our com­mu­nity.

Their re­cent de­ci­sion to al­low to-go cock­tails at bars and restau­rants has been a short-sighted and poorly de­signed rule from the be­gin­ning.

The cur­rent rule al­lows peo­ple to drive off in their ve­hi­cles with cock­tails and mixed drinks of any size, in any con­tainer, with no seal re­quire­ments. This rule not only makes it eas­ier to drink al­co­hol but en­cour­ages open con­tain­ers of al­co­hol in ve­hi­cles.

Such a rule will cer­tainly con­trib­ute to higher rates of drunken driv­ing and al­co­hol-re­lated crashes and in­juries in our county. The pan­demic has made Maui one of the high­est un­em­ployed places in the coun­try and left many of us in a state of dis­tress. Al­low­ing stressed out peo­ple to drive around with to-go cock­tails is like pour­ing fuel on a fire.

We will only add to the al­ready over­whelm­ing bur­den our com­mu­nity faces in get­ting through this pan­demic. If we want to con­tinue to keep our COVID-19 cases low, and en­sure we pre­vent any more un­due stress in our com­mu­nity, we must let the liquor com­mis­sion know that this rule must end im­me­di­ately.

Ann Collins

Makawao

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