Thursday, September 14, 2006

A moral conundrum -

A small country town, population about 1000, has a sole charge policeman.

It is his day off. He plays a round of golf with his mates, has a few beers, a couple of rum chasers...

The local Volunteer Fire Brigade siren goes, and word comes through of a serious traffic accident about 8km up the road. The policeman has "second level" (ambulance) first aid equipment and is the only person with training to use it.

So he sets out for the scene of the accident. He is effective in his work. One of those killed in the accident is a mate with whom he had played golf not three hours previous.

The Serious Accident team turn up 30 minutes later. One of them notes that our policeman has been drinking and breath-tests him. He is over the limit.

Our policeman is now in Court and pleads guilty to the drink driving charge.

How should the Court find? Guilty, loss of license, and costing our policeman his job - DUI is a criminal offence. Guilty but not convicted - the Court can do that, but it would still likely result in the policeman losing his job. Not guilty because of extenuating circumstances.

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