News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Legislature was in session, though it was a while back

State Sen. Pat Lindsey's speeding ticket issued last week is rural Washington County in southwest Alabama should be an embarrassment to everyone involved.

The senator from Butler should have realized that the trooper who stopped him for speeding had some reason for turning him loose with only a warning. But he may have thought it was because he is a powerful legislator.

The trooper said it was because the senator said the Legislature was in session.

The state Constitution gives lawmakers broad immunity from arrest while going to or from a legislative session.

The senator said he wasn't sure of the trooper's question, but he replied "yes" anyway. He said he thought the trooper may have asked if he was in the Legislature.

The senator, who is running for re-election, now seems a bit embarrassed that he got off for going 79 mph in a 55 mph zone, as well he should.

The state troopers appear miffed that the senator would say that one of their finest was vague in handling the stop.

"The trooper asked the senator if he was in session, the senator responded affirmatively and the trooper released him with a verbal warning," a statement from the Department of Public Safety said.

But shouldn't a state trooper generally know when the Legislature is in session? Gee whiz, this session's been over since April 18.

It's possible the senator could have processed the dumb question as an invitation to avoid a ticket. But he says that was not the case. Thus, the senator should go ahead and pay the speeding ticket like any ordinary Alabamian.

And from now on he should be careful about answering questions he doesn't fully understand.

Once elected, some politicians pick up bad habits.

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