Scott Tibbs
Printed in the Herald-Times, 04-05-2003

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Bernitts doing their duty

April 1, 2003 To the Editor:

The Herald-Times scolded local residents Bud and Amy Bernitt on March 14 for contacting the State Police when they observed Scott Wells walking and driving in what they believed to be an intoxicated state.

The H-T seems to think that alleged political motivations on the part of the Bernitts somehow invalidate the correctness of their actions that night. It does not. They did their duty as citizens by contacting law enforcement, who are trained to deal with this type of situation. If Wells was indeed impaired, thee Bernitts may have saved his or someone else's life that night. I challenge the H-T editorial board to see the results of drunk driving at and then tell its readership that what the Bernitts did was wrong.

It may be interesting to note that Bud Bernitt has called the police on his brother for drunken driving on more than one occasion.

The H-T called upon the Republican Party to "denounce" the Bernitts. Should the Republican Party "denounce" an action that may have saved a life?

Lumping the Bernitts in with child molesters and murderers, which the H-T did in its March 16 editorial, was utterly despicable.

A jury of his peers will determine whether Wells was or was not impaired. I think it inappropriate to make a public judgment on him until his trial is finished, and it is important to remember Wells is "innocent until proven guilty". It is likewise wrong to demonize the Bernitts for doing their duty as citizens.