Last weekend, our friend and colleague was hit by what police and witnesses suspect was a drunk driver. Fortunately, Kristin will be all right; given plenty of time, rest and prayers, she will make a full recovery in the coming weeks and months.
In retrospect, Kristin is lucky. A few hours before the drunk driver hit her, another drunk driver hit and killed a middle-aged woman across town. The proximity and seriousness of these accidents serve as a sobering reminder of our community’s drinking problems.
The city and university’s efforts to deal with this problem have been the center of much discussion the last few weeks. We see this tragic weekend as further evidence that focusing on downtown bars, where most drink responsibly and walk home, is misguided.
Already, the Madison police plan to reinforce their drunk-driving patrols next weekend. We applaud their renewed efforts, just as we thank them for their professionalism and concern this weekend.
Students, administrators, police and policymakers will spar on downtown drinking issues. But as shown by this weekend’s united effort to help Kristin, everyone approaches drinking issues with the same goals and hopes.
Mostly, everyone wishes Kristin a speedy and full recovery.