”Woman with five DWIs pleads guilty, gets five more days in jail.”

So read Friday’s Union Leader headline on a story that underlines a problem with how some New Hampshire courts and prosecutors are endangering public safety. The question is who in the Department of Safety will take responsibility?

A glaring DWI gap: Detention is the best deterrence
'Law is failing': Change sought after driver charged with 5 DWIs

If it were not a matter of life and death, the saga of Marie Collins of Raymond would be laughable. The record shows that she has been arrested for drunk driving no fewer than five times in the last five months.

But before the individual cases could be adjudicated, Collins was back behind the wheel, endangering still more lives. She was doing so even though her license had been suspended. She was finally held in mid-January after the fifth DWI arrest.

Clearly, the only thing that would have and should have stopped all this was for the woman to be jailed. That should have been done after she was nabbed a second time.

No doubt bleeding hearts will say that the woman needs help. That would be fine with us, provided that the help was offered where she could no longer threaten the public safety.

Yet Judge David LaFrancois in Candia Circuit Court last week ordered Collins to serve just five more days in jail.

Her lawyer acknowledges that “something went wrong over this short period of time.” But he thinks the state “has taken on a rehabilitation type approach to this and she’s 100 percent on board.”

He says the goal is to get his client help, rather than more jail time. Actually, the goal needs to be to protect the public. Any one of the woman’s DWIs could have killed someone.

The Department of Safety and state legislators need to work to stop this insanity. A second DWI arrest coming close on the heels of a first should result in jail without bail. Public safety must be the priority here.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020
Sunday, April 05, 2020

Friend and sometime opinion contributor Jack Falvey notes that upwards of 90% of the people on earth are said to believe in a higher power. He suggests that we all pick a day to ask that higher power to give everyone a helping hand in this troubled time.

Gov. Chris Sununu seems somehow to have survived his recent brush with death in which he ordered the closure of hair salons as being not an essential service in these troubled times. The man has a mother, wife and several sisters and yet he lives.

Friday, April 03, 2020

Some New Hampshire school districts are considering canceling the traditional week-long April vacation. Others (like Merrimack) already have done so. We have our own view on the subject, but one thing we really like is that some districts have sought community input, particularly parents, be…

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

The news and our own experiences tell us that we are living in uncertain times like none other in American history. It is true that the coronavirus pandemic and state and national government responses to it, as well as those of the general public, are drastic and extreme.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

The town of Washington has had one of its 1,200 residents test positive for COVID-19. The person was in the hospital last week. Someone at the South Broadway Honey Dew Donut shop in Salem for hours at a time on the mornings of March 17-19 also tested positive. A third person with the virus w…

Saturday, March 28, 2020
Friday, March 27, 2020

The stories we have been reporting of New Hampshire individuals and businesses stepping up to meet the viral pandemic are inspiring but not at all surprising. Our small state has long been characterized by its neighbor-helping-neighbor attitude. It was meeting challenges long before anyone e…

Monday, March 23, 2020