Longer WVU PRT Hours Could Mean Safer Morgantown

Robert Frost once famously said, “I always entertain great hopes.” I agree with Mr. Frost, and I think West Virginia University needs to, as well – one great hope in particular, which was articulated well in an op-ed piece published recently by WVU’s student newspaper, “The Daily Athenaeum.” Here is what is at issue: It is a well-known fact that Morgantown has a party-town reputation. It is also a well-known fact that the rate of DUI arrests is highest among college-aged men and women. A third fact – one that was lamented in the op-ed piece – is that WVU’s PRT (transit system) shuts down at 10 p.m.

The great hope of the student newspaper? That the university would run it all night. As a criminal defense lawyer who handles a high volume of DUI cases in the Morgantown area (some of the students from my alma mater, WVU), I negotiate for a living. And while I think that shutting down that transit resource at 10 p.m. is a bit early, I also know that asking for it to run all night might not be a winning proposal. That all said, I think there is plenty of room to compromise. While costs may prohibit WVU from operating the PRT all night, perhaps it could swing expanded hours – at least until after the bars close in town.

I already hear you: There are always going to be people who say, “But Sean, if you run the PRT until the bars close, isn’t that basically encouraging these kids to go get blasted?” And here’s my answer: No. I will entertain most great hopes, but some things are just inevitability. Like this one: If a college student wants to drink, they are gonna drink – and then, they are gonna have to get home. And if they are intoxicated and need to get home, this Morgantown criminal defense lawyer who handles DUI defense all the time would much prefer they have an option other than taking a chance getting behind the wheel of their car.

Source: WVU's Independent Student Newspaper - A matter of safety, convenience: The PRT should operate 24 hours a day