East Front Street used to be Nome's version of a sobriety test. With all its pot holes, bumps and dips, Nomeites could tell the drunk drivers from the sober ones. The sober ones were weaving all over the place to avoid the pot holes, and the drunks were the ones driving straight.
The pothole dodging index for sobriety has gone up a few notches due to the increased number of potholes and bottomless puddles. Furthermore, the state of Alaska has made an adjustment and lowered the amount of blood alcohol it takes for a driver to be classified as legally drunk -- 0.08.
Nomeites, the days of driving under the influence are coming to a halt.
We have been fortunate so far this year, in that we have had no fatalities on our streets and highways. For the most part this is due to the increased vigilance of our Nome City Police and the Alaska State Troopers. The Nome police have stepped up their efforts to stop suspected drunk drivers and apply the appropriate penalties. The Troopers have made an effort to patrol the road system and keep the inebriates off the roads. Nomeites have noticed that the regulations have been enforced evenhandedly for the big names as well as the ordinary folks.
The increased vigilance against drunk drivers surely has saved lives. For this we are grateful. Our city police and troopers need to know that the community applauds their efforts. We also appreciate the awareness of the general public toward the menace of drunk drivers, and the efforts of bartenders who do not serve inebriates and friends who see to it that folks who are in no condition to drive take a taxi or walk home. Lives have been saved.
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