For the People Act will improve democracy

St. Lawrence County is one of the largest counties per square miles east of the Mississippi River. It’s actually the largest county in New York state with a little more than 2,000 square miles of land.

And with about 111,000 people who live here, every person could potentially fit into the University of Michigan football stadium. That puts things into perspective as to just how sparsely populated we actually are given such a large area.

Then why is there such a large presence of law enforcement here in St. Lawrence County? Maybe it’s the close proximity to the border, or the amount of illegal drugs that are here, or the fact that the county is so large. But whatever the reason is, it seems to be fairly obvious that there are a lot of cops around.

If one were to read the newspaper, they would most likely see with quite some regularity a driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence charge posted on the police blotter. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is no joke and should be taken seriously and should definitely be patrolled with vigor. But what if DWI/DUI arrests have evolved into more of a revenue generator for the state operating under the guise of safety and security?

St. Lawrence County is a far cry from Albany. Up here in the rural parts of the state, things look a lot different. We don’t have major transportation systems along the lines of buses and taxis. We have a few buses that run here and there and a few taxis but nothing compared to what they have downstate.

A driver’s license is considered a privilege. But up here in the north country, it’s more of a necessity given the fact that everything is so spread out and there are not many alternative options for transportation. Given these variables, it just seems as though Albany squeezes the people of St. Lawrence County by perpetuating a system in which high-frequency DWI/DUI arrests generate revenue for the state.

Jerry Chase


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(3) comments


Legalize drunk driving. That'll keep people off the streets if they can't handle a little unpredictability. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.


Regardless of what the options are for transportation you don’t get a pass on driving drunk. This is a very weird argument to make. To paraphrase Baretta, “If you can’t pay the fine, don’t do the crime.”


??? So Mr. Chase is complaining about too many dui arrests in the county? Seriously? Nothing about drinking and driving... maybe he should attend some MADD meetings... or STOP DWI programs.. or families of victims... "Approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers (with blood alcohol concentrations [BACs] of .08 of higher). In 2018, there were 10,511 people killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes."

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