Letters to the editor

Sep. 04, 2013 @ 08:31 PM

Law overrides common sense

In a recent story regarding “Did firefighter have the right to stop a suspected drunk driver,” I think this illustrates how legal issues can override common sense. 

This case, which was before the N.C. Court of Appeals, was to decide if a Chapel Hill fireman was legal in stopping a suspected drunk driver by use of a fire truck.  The firefighter had witnessed multiple unsafe vehicle maneuvers, suspected DWI and called for police assistance prior to stopping the vehicle.  The driver, intoxicated (.23 blood alcohol) was offered a driver to park her car and a call to have someone come get her.  Refusing, she drove off only to be stopped by police a short time later, charged, and pleaded guilty to DWI with a record of previous DWI.

The question before the court: Was the fireman acting as a government agent or as a private citizen.  Seems obvious to me since he was on duty he was acting as a government official.  One judge ruled the fireman had no authority to stop the vehicle since it is not specified in law.

Firemen like other emergency responders are tasked with saving lives and property.  Prevention is the best course of action.  This driver was almost certainly an accident in waiting.  What would the story have been if she had run over a child while being followed by the fire truck?

Common sense!  I say well done to firefighter Lt. Gordon Shatley and Judge Elaine Bushfan for displaying it.

Kent Fletcher

Durham

Mission impossible

Congress should not endorse President Obama's shot into the bow of Syria' ship of state. The motive to redeem Obama's credibility is a mission impossible considering his long list of false statements and broken promises. A symbolic strike exposes us to risks without benefit.

The credibility of the United States can be redeemed only by removal of this president.

John Randall

Durham

Exciting start-up

I am very excited to read about the start-up success of Organic Transit (“Organic Transit to add West Coast solar-powered trike assembly operation,” Aug. 29). 

In these political times it's good to have stories of success from a company devoted to helping protect the environment.  Ideally this success represents just a small step towards Durham’s becoming a national leader on issues like climate change. 

Imagine a Durham where all most of it's power came from the sun, and everyone could travel across the city without using a car.  Wouldn't that be a great place to live?

David Rogers
Durham