State Liquor Commissioner Fired After Arrest for DUI

Richard Simard appears out of a job after he was arrested for driving while intoxicated. Not good for anyone, but particularly for the New Hampshire State Liquor Commissioner.

Gov. John Lynch fired him. The grounds for the termination are interesting. Lynch recognizes that Simard, 67, has a presumption of innocence but fired him for refusing a breathalyzer test. Yet, refusing such a test is his right so he is being fired for exercising an option available to all citizens.

Simard was stopped in his 2010 BMW while driving erratically around 11:50 p.m.
Lynch’s use of the test refusal is an interesting element: “It is simply unacceptable for a liquor commissioner, stopped by the police on suspicion of driving under the influence, to refuse a Breathalyzer test. Under the circumstances, Richard Simard’s continued presence on the Liquor Commission would compromise the integrity of the commission.”

An argument could be made that, if he has a presumption of innocence, the governor should have waited for the outcome of the criminal case. What do you think?

For the full story, click here

6 thoughts on “State Liquor Commissioner Fired After Arrest for DUI”

  1. I don’t know about New Hampshire specifically, but in many states the Commissioner is a political appointee who serves at the pleasure of the Governor. If that is the case in NH, then any right to refuse the test and the presumption of innocence are largely irrelevant because the Governor has lost confidence in the man. Based on the few facts in the linked article, I’d say the Governor did the right thing.

    Also, in many states there is no right to refuse a breathalyzer and the opposite is true in that you have given your consent when you accept a driver’s license. Perhaps NH does not have implied consent, but if it does, the refusal to comply would reinforce my opinion that the Governor did the right thing.

  2. “Richard Simard’s continued presence on the Liquor Commission would compromise the integrity of the commission.”

    That makes no sense … the guy hasn’t been convicted of anything.

    Isn’t presumption of innocence a legal inference that most people are not criminals? (I’m asking, not telling)

    He was fired for exercising a right he has under the law? If the dude isn’t convicted then his refusal to take a breathalyzer test is of no consequence, right? (Once again, I’m asking)

    In my semi-educated opinion, Gov. John Lynch’s action has compromised the integrity of his state’s laws where the rights of his state’s citizens are concerned. He probably sees some sort of political gain here but I suspect that the state’s liability insurance rates are going to dramatically increase in the next few years.

  3. How can anyone blame the Liquor Commissioner just for doing basic research in his field? Rarely is such diligence and devotion to one’s profession seen, let alone rewarded. The man deserves a case of champagne!

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