Alcohol tax will hurt law-abiding citizens

Here’s a scenario for you: So, I have a prized pair of fuzzy slippers – an absolute must in the harsh winters of Wisconsin … and a house full of guys that don’t like paying for heat.

To my dismay, I one day walk into my room to find that those warm and tingly, tan slices of heaven have been stolen.

After immediately running to the store to buy new ones, I also decide that I need a state-of-the-art home security system to prevent future thievery.

In this scenario- I also have power within the government. Awesome.

So, I decide that to fund my security system and prevent others from stealing my slips, I am going to tax all footwear. Whether you were the one who stole my slippers or not, you will pay extra from now on to keep your toes warm.

Sounds kind of ridiculous, right?

Absolutely. That’s why a 58 percent tax increase on alcohol approved last week by the State Judiciary Committee to fund new drunken driving laws is giving me cold feet.

If the tax on alcohol is eventually made into law, what our government will be telling us is ‘It doesn’t matter if you have ever driven drunk or even driven with a drop of alcohol on your breath. If you drink, you will pay for the mistakes of others.’

I fully support the state’s decision to finally take drunk driving seriously.

The alcohol tax would, in theory, help bring a law that would make drunken driving a crime if a child is in the car to fruition.

The bill doesn’t go far enough to keep the roads safe, but it’s at least a step in the right direction.

However great the cause, the state still shouldn’t penalize responsible drinkers for the actions of the irresponsible.

It isn’t a new concept either.

As a hunter and gun owner, I can tell you that guns are expensive. A hunting rifle doesn’t cost $900 because walnut and steel are that pricey. It costs $900 because of taxes imposed on gunmakers. Those taxes are in large part the result of lobby efforts to shut down gun manufacturing because of school shootings and other gun-related crimes. As the innocent, law-abiding consumers, we have to absorb those costs and in turn pay greatly for the horrendous mistakes made by someone else.

Here’s a chance to stop that nonsense.

It’s time to hold drunk drivers accountable for their own actions (I feel like accountability is always the underlying theme in these columns). It’s time to make drunk drivers foot the bill for the new laws that are designed for those people in the first place.

In addition to jail time and whatever else comes with a drunken driving sentence, irresponsible alcohol users should pay for their crimes with monetary penalties as well.

In reality, the tax comes to 50 cents per liter.

If you can’t afford an extra 50 cents for a liter of booze, you probably shouldn’t be drinking in the first place.

What’s important, however, especially in a state full of drinking traditions, is refusing to penalize the innocent because some people can’t follow laws.