To the editor: In response to Mr. Byron Stookey’s Feb. 19 letter “Let people drive to work,” he makes some valid points. I agree that the Brattleboro Reformer police log may be focused on highlighting struggling individuals, and this pandemic has made life difficult for so many of us, myself included.
The definition of “driving with a criminally suspended license” means you have been caught driving a vehicle, after you are found guilty and convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). The legal limit in Vermont is .08 percent of your blood alcohol content (BAC). The suspension of your license in Vermont is 90 days, according to the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles website.
Mr. Stookey makes two points. First, the publication of the police log. What is the benefit of having it? I do not mean any disrespect or ill-will towards the men and women of the Brattleboro Police Department; my focus is on the log itself. Personally, I believe it is nothing but a tool to mock and further add to the struggles of those less fortunate who have made a mistake. It does focus on those living in poverty.
Why further shame and shun our fellow residents instead of accepting them as they’ve made a mistake. We are all learning, growing and are just trying to navigate this thing called life. The publication space could be better used for positivity, be it more food and garden articles or more puzzles and games. I would bet the majority of individuals who have a record, feel no enjoyment in having it published.
His second point of suspending licenses during non-working hours is something I respectfully disagree with. As children, we are taught about consequences. As adults, we learn there’s a lot of grey area to that. Should individuals who have a record be further punished? One ethical point is, one made the choice to partake in such activities. Another ethical point is, why further punish those who are struggling and simply made a mistake? Grey area indeed, huh?
The issue is not blame the victim. The issue is limited transportation in rural areas. The bigger issue is society’s obsession to blame those less fortunate, often lead by more elitist members of our community whose louder voice often drowns the voices of people who matter.
Brattleboro, Feb. 24