By Daniel Bein
The mere mention of the word "curfew" should send chills down the spine of anyone interested in preserving personal freedom and restraining government power. But curfew is exactly the word being tossed around on Sullivan's Island, a local beach community a few minutes East of Charleston, South Carolina. Sullivan's Island has considered imposing a 6 pm curfew on all St. Patrick's day celebrations to limit drunk driving on on the holiday.
Even though this is being done on a local level, to the mind of anyone interested in the restraint of government power, this is an affront to personal freedom, and it's all done in the name of public safety.
The town's justification for the curfew is that police want to ensure the least amount of people possible are leaving the island drunk after celebrating St. Patrick's day at a popular Irish pub on Sullivan's island, as well as other bars along the same strip.
But this is not a legitimate attempt to ensure safety, just lazy police work that impedes on personal freedom as well as the private property rights of local bar owners. This, like "public health" initiatives such as smoking bans is all done in the name of safety, at the expense of personal liberty and private property rights.
If drunk driving is a problem, the police have the right to be there to ticket cars and haul anyone in who is guilty of the offense. This is their job. But imposing a curfew on the locals is outlandish and counterproductive. Making people go home after 6 pm is not the job of local law enforcement. It is likely that the same people who are forced to leave by 6 pm will simply drink more before that time and drive off into the evening anyway. These type of measures are un-American and should be opposed in all communities across the country.