Morton County bar hours decision was right
Keeping any bar in rural Morton County open until 2 a.m., while the county's cities and neighboring Burleigh County bars and clubs shut down at 1 a.m., would make for trouble.
The Morton County Commission was right to deny a request for a later closing time by a bar just outside the Glen Ullin city limits.
Different closing times would encourage a moveable party, one which follows the hands of the clock as the bartenders shut off their taps. And, most likely, some of those partygoers would get behind the wheel of a car or pickup to continue the festivities. That's the problem.
There was a time, not long ago, when partygoers could go from Bismarck to Mandan for an extra hour to imbibe. It was driven by the hour difference between Bismarck and Mandan when the time zone followed the Missouri River. Although many people acted responsibly, the hour difference between the two communities provided some with an opportunity for bad choices.
We have a pretty good idea about what would go on if the Morton County Commission would have agreed to a 2 p.m. closing. Not much good. In addition, it would put pressure on others in the county to do likewise. It's not society's job to police everyone all the time. However, there are certain things communities aren't required to do, and this is one of them.
Alcohol abuse, along with drinking and driving, has confounded the state for many years. Binge drinking continues to be a problem among the state's younger citizens. These are all very real problems. Prohibition and abstinence are unlikely solutions, but responsible behavior is.
Morton County has acted responsibly on this issue.