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AROUND THE STATE: No ‘get out of jail’ free card?

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This week, the Mankato Free Press wrote an editorial in regard to state lawmakers being exempt from DWI arrests while in session.

The state Constitution does gives lawmakers immunity from arrest during session in all cases except for felonies, treason and breach of the peace.

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They write “What many call a ‘get out of jail free’ card might seem outrageous to many, but the exemption is not without merit. The provision is intended to prevent lawmakers from being arrested on trumped-up charges in order to keep them from attending key votes.”

Some lawmakers, though, want to put an end to this by extending the “breach of the peace” to include driving while intoxicated.

Sen. Kathy Sheran of Mankato has sponsored a bill that would change that.

But, the Free Press writes, “Some lawmakers opposed it — sidestepping the core question of whether lawmakers should have the right to get away with drunk driving — by saying no one has proven the provision has been misused by lawmakers.”

The other side of that argument is that drunk driving is obviously a danger for others on the roads, and if lawmakers are not abusing this law, why even still have in on the books?

The Pioneer Editorial Board would like to know what you think? Please send your responses to letters@bemidjipioneer.com.

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