One resolution we can keep – right now


Here we are, on the brink of another new year.

For a lot of folks, that means cracking open a traditional bottle of champagne, and clinking glasses together, in gesture of good will and luck to the year ahead.

For another decidedly smaller group of people, the brink of a new year means sitting behind the wheel of a squad car, badge on chest, finger ready to pop the light bar into life, as yet another drunk driver lurches into view.

Hopefully they’ll stop that driver before one bad decision (getting into the car inebriated) turns into a series of life-and-death decisions for the rest of us forced to share the road with them.

It doesn’t have to be like this.

Nobody is forcing us to get drunk. Nobody is forcing us to buy booze to host our New Year’s Eve parties.

Trust me, the state liquor stores will stay afloat, even if we don’t patronize them for the biggest drinking day of the year.

This is all about choices. And these include choices made by people who aren’t drinking.

Behind nearly every person who chooses to booze it up New Year’s (or any other day of the year) there are people who are watching them do it. There are people who at any point, could step in and either take the car keys away, find them a ride home, or simply refuse to serve them any more alcohol.

Each of us has the capacity to do the right thing – whether it’s realizing we’ve had enough, or making that call when we suspect our fellow partier has.

The problem is that not enough of us are acting on it.

Our Christmas season in Kent started off with a head-on collision, and alcohol is suspected to have played a part.

A total of six people went to the hospital, three of them with serious injuries. They’re lucky – they’re still alive.

How many more of us will hear the sound of crunching metal and breaking glass before we wake up to the fact that drinking and driving don’t mix – and never will?

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Opinion

Robert Whale can be reached at
If you're right, and you know it, then read this | Whale's Tales

As the poet Theodore Roethke once wrote: “In a dark time the eye begins to see…”

Robert Whale can be reached at
Grappling with the finality of an oncologist's statement | Whale's Tales

Perhaps my brain injected a bit of humor to cover the shock. But I felt the gut punch.

Cartoon by Frank Shiers
Legislature back in session next week | Cartoon

State lawmakers return Jan. 8 to Olympia.

Cartoon by Frank Shiers
Santa doesn't drive a Kia | Cartoon

Cartoon by Frank Shiers.

Cartoon by Frank Shiers
Salute to veterans | Cartoon by Frank Shiers

On Veterans Day, honor those who served your country.

File photo
Why you should vote in the upcoming election | Guest column

When I ask my students when the next election is, frequently they will say “November 2024” or whichever presidential year is coming up next.

Robert Whale can be reached at
Here's a column for anyone who loves their dog | Whale's Tales

It is plain to me in looking at dogs small and large that a decent share of them are exemplars of love on Earth, innocents who love unconditionally and love their chow.

Robert Whale can be reached at
Please protect your children from BS spreaders | Whale's Tales

Among the most useful things I studied in college were debate, and… Continue reading

It's time to change Kent's City Council elections to districts | Guest column

If you were asked who your city councilmembers are, would you have an answer?

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He is a former president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. Contact
Dear government: Hold your horses when regulating trucks | Brunell

Next to gasoline and diesel, natural gas also has the greatest number of refueling stations.

Cartoon by Frank Shiers
Mariners get red hot | Cartoon

Cartoon by Frank Shiers