User uShare Login | Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.

74° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options




[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!


Most Popular Today

Minnehaha County Commissioner Trying To Stop Drunk Driving

January 7, 2014, 6:06 PM by Leland Steva

Minnehaha County Commissioner Trying To Stop Drunk Driving

With a string of recent drunk driving arrests, one Minnehaha County Commissioner is calling for big changes in the way drunk drivers are dealt with.

Jeff Barth met the father of a 25-year-old woman who was killed by a drunk driver last summer, but he didn't feel the call to do anything to address the issue until the death of a Sioux Falls mother on New Year's Day. Barth says he can't stay silent on the issue any longer.

"More people are going to die unless we do more," Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth said.

Barth met with the family of Megan Spindler after the 25-year-old woman was killed by a drunk driver in July. What he learned after speaking with them, he says, might have prevented the death of Tanya Sanchez on New Year's Day.

"I had all winter coming up to last week to do something more after Megan was killed. I didn't do it," Barth said.

But Barth isn't staying quiet on the issue any longer. Instead, he stood in front of his peers at Tuesday's Minnehaha County Commissioners meeting, calling for harsher drunk driving laws he thinks could prevent future deaths on the road.

"Immediately suspend every license of a person arrested for drunk driving. We need to impound and seize the vehicles of anyone driving under the influence. We need to have Dram Shop liability, social host liability. The victims should be able to sue the people who provided extra alcohol to those who are already intoxicated," Barth said.

He would like to increase the tax on alcohol sales in the county to 10-percent, giving half the revenue to the state. Barth estimates the county's share of the tax hike would be about $2.5 million.  According to Center for Science in the Public Interest, five percent of adults drink 48 percent of all liquor. Increase the alcohol tax, he says, and it could possibly reduce property and sales tax.

"Reduce taxes on people that don't drink and to make those that do cost us the most, pay the most," Barth said.

Ultimately, his proposal is not about revenue; Barth says it's about saving lives.

"Vehicular homicide is truly just homicide by another name, and I'm sick of it," Barth said.

Previous Story

Next Story


Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View news

You may also like

SF Drug Ring Involved 220 lbs. Of Marijuana

8/27/2014 5:48 PM

Her boyfriend was killed during a botched robbery in December in northwest Sioux Falls. Faith Rasmussen and her mother, Theresa, have now pleaded guil...

Full Story | Watch
SF Mother, Daughter Admit To Large Drug Conspiracy

8/27/2014 10:54 AM

Faith Rasmussen, 21, and her 55-year-old mother Theresa Rasmussen admit they were bringing marijuana from California to South Dakota and distributing ...

Full Story
Car vs. School Bus Crash Near Inwood, Iowa

8/26/2014 11:31 AM

Authorities in northwest Iowa are investigating a serious crash involving a car and a school bus.

Full Story
Speeding Suspect Arrested For Auto Theft, Other Charges

8/27/2014 10:05 PM

Sioux Falls Police have a man in custody after a driver attempted to elude authorities during a traffic stop.

Full Story
Lead Woman Pleads Guilty To Having Sex With Child

8/30/2014 11:39 AM

A Lead woman has pleaded guilty to having sex with a 12-year-old boy.

Full Story