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In defense of the man

Dear Editors:

After reading Vol. 2, No. 28, I had to comment. “Brian” wrote into The Diver to complain about his buddies getting DUIs and insinuate that pulling people over for drinking and driving was all about generating revenue for the city. I feel compelled to educate that poor guy.

Between the Durango Police Department and the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office, I’d estimate that 15 to 25 subjects are stopped and arrested for DUI every week. Do the city and county generate revenue for these stops? Of course, but I can promise you that no officer enjoys this particular part of the job. DUI stops are the most unpredictable and potentially dangerous situations an officer can get into, not to mention the tons of paperwork they generate, as well as the necessity for the officer to appear in court – many times on his/her day off. I’d hazard a guess that at least half of the people stopped and arrested have prior DUI’s on their records, indeed, many of them are driving on suspended or revoked licenses.

The main point of this response, though, is to let “Brian” know that, as much of a pain in the ass DUI stops are for the officers, each and every one of them would rather do 100 than be the one who responds to a DUI crash scene. One second can and does change a life – or ends it – and I would guarantee that anyone who survives a crash like that can tell you that they never thought it would happen to them in a million years and they thought they were “just fine to drive.” The dead ones can’t tell you anything though, “Brian.” That’s not even taking into consideration all the people that drunken drivers kill and maim on the road every single day of every single year. I bet none of the victims saw it coming, either. But we’ve heard all of this before, haven’t we?

And if “Brian” isn’t buying any of the above, I’d like to offer a little unsolicited advice to him and his poor downtrodden and oppressed friends. If you think DUI’s are just a money-making scam for local law enforcement agencies, don’t drink and drive in Durango or La Plata County! After all, isn’t that just playing right into their diabolical plan? Don’t even give “the man” the chance to keep you down! Do yourselves (and all the rest of us) a favor! I know that the officers and the administration at the PD and SO will think of other ways to generate income.

One more thing to that nutty girl in “Word on the Street” in Volume 2, No. 19, who had the audacity to bitch about being arrested on a felony for “SPITTING ON A POLICE OFFICER?!” Heather, that is such a pretty story. Your parents must be proud. Know what people in law enforcement call people like you? Job security. I’m sure your name will pop up on the PD or SO’s radio channels again real soon.

– Kathryn Follett




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