Animal Law, Lawyer of the Day

Callously Mowing Down Ducks With Your Beamer Is Probably Not A Crime

Did you know that approximately one-fourth of every children’s song or story somehow involves ducks? It feels like it’s true! For reasons that make neither commercial nor evolutionary sense, the cuteness of ducklings is ingrained from birth. So I feel like it takes a certain special kind of jackass to run over ducks with your car.

Then again, it takes a special kind of person to go to Harvard College and yet end up at Suffolk Law…

The story broke over the New Year’s break, so you might have missed it. New Hampshire state-representative David Campbell (D) allegedly ran over some ducks with his BMW while leaving a hotel late at night. From the Nashua Telegraph:

A Florida man called police last week after watching a state representative from Nashua plow his BMW into a crowd of ducks outside the Crowne Plaza Hotel, reportedly killing one or more of the birds, then exiting the scene before police arrived…

“I hit some ducks,” Campbell said in an interview with The Telegraph. “Some people were feeding ducks on the driveway in front of the Crowne Plaza at 10 o’clock at night … and they didn’t move, and I hit some ducks.”

Campbell said he feels “terrible” about it, but declined to comment further about what took place until a police investigation into the matter concludes.

The Florida man who witnessed and reported Campbell is retired U.S. Marine officer James Murphy. So we’re probably not dealing with some tree-hugging liberal with his panties in a bunch. Murphy reports that he witnessed Campbell leave the hotel driving at about 15 mph. He says Campbell made no effort to stop or avoid the ducks.

While the police are “investigating” the incident, it doesn’t appear that Campbell committed any crime. I quickly thumbed through the “Handbook of New Hampshire Laws Relating to Animals.” I didn’t see anything about running down wild ducks with your car. He didn’t hit anybody’s dog, cat, horse, or cattle. Beyond that, the law takes a “whatever” approach to vehicularly slaughtered game.

And it’s likely that Campbell was pretty aware of the laws as his Beamer came down the driveway. Take a look at his biography:

Campbell, a Nashua attorney, is serving his seventh term in the House, where he chairs the Public Works and Highways Committee. He also chairs the Capital Budget Overview Committee and the Long Range Capital Planning and Utilization Committee.

Campbell graduated with honors from Harvard College and Suffolk University Law School, and is admitted to the bar in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, according to biographical information available on his legislative profile.

He’s a lawyer, he’s on the highway committee… come on, he totally saw those ducks and was like “screw it, survival of the fittest.”

Campbell might not be a criminal, but if he drives like a dick and talks like a dick, he’s probably a dick.

Nashua police investigate report of state Rep. Campbell running over ducks at hotel [Nashua Telegrpah]

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