The only encounters I had with Judge de Bellefeuille were vicarious, as I was observing a family member’s gambit to fight a traffic ticket. Just as her words in Nick Welsh’s article show her talking about fairness, I overheard nothing but that in each decision she made that morning.
For some, it ended in a dismissal. A young nanny was exonerated of child endangerment for failure to seat belt a child when it was found that the child herself had taken off the seat belt. It definitely helped that the child’s father attended the hearing, emphasizing that he had used this to teach his daughter about safety and responsibility.
In another case, an underage drinker’s license was suspended as he was convicted of a DWI. While he engaged in safe driving practices for someone over the age of 21, he discovered that the law has a zero tolerance for any blood alcohol for those under 21.
It does seem inherently unfair that the law treats people differently based on age. But, in each case, Judge de Bellefeuille reviewed what the law actually stated and took the time to explain it to each person. We should have more judges who apply the law so fairly and objectively.