Stephanie Gibbs feels "completely disrespected and taken advantage of as a college student at CSU," having been cited for underage drinking while in a RamRide vehicle. Friday's Collegian reported that Gibbs was offended that the Fort Collins police officer who issued the ticket did not seem to be aware of the RamRide program.
While I support safe-ride programs wholeheartedly, I'm dismayed to learn that an adult, though underage, person fails to or cares not to understand the basics of such programs. It's this simple: Using a safe-ride program does not indemnify a rider against other liquor laws. Just as participating in a drug treatment program does not grant a person immunity from existing drug laws, being underage and in possession of alcohol or under the influence of alcohol remains a crime, regardless of how that juvenile chooses to get home after drinking.
I agree with Gibbs that all law-enforcement personnel should be made aware of safe-ride programs in their areas and cooperate with them to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the roads, but those using safe-ride programs should be aware that a physically safe ride is not the same thing as a "free ride" with the law.
If, as they say, ignorance of the law is no excuse, we can extend that to reason that drunkenness is no excuse for ignorance.
Dennis Morrigan McDonough
Fort Collins Resident