Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Chief with a DUI? Oops...

In my opinion, police officers are supposed to be the ones enforcing the laws and protecting the public, not doing exactly the opposite.  In recent years, I’ve heard of multiple cases where chiefs of police or other high-ranking law enforcement officials have been found driving under the influence or other related crimes that actually endanger the public more than protecting them.



Last week, a the police chief in a town close to my house was found driving while intoxicated and carrying a firearm while intoxicated.  He was placed on paid leave while the case is being investigated. 
Here is the article.

Police chiefs aren’t the only ones getting DUIs, though.  According to DUI Law Blog, defense lawyers, prosecutors, and judges also get DUIs.  These are supposed to be the people who enforce laws and help bring the “bad guys” to justice – but they are turning into the bad guys when they drink and drive.

In another incident found here, Corporal John Quigg of the Pennsylvania State Police was involved in an accident where his personal car hit a guardrail.  The officer who responded found him passed out in his car.  Quigg was sent to the hospital and charged with DUI.

According to Officer Gene Callaway, a Doraville police spokesman, commenting on the termination of an officer from his city, “Our chief holds us to a very high standard.”  Callaway goes on to say that “We're here to enforce the law. We're not above it” which shows that officers understand the seriousness of getting a DUI and the consequences that come with it.  The report from Doraville, in which Officer Kasey Lindsey was terminated, also states that “Lindsey repeatedly tried to show investigating officers his badge. Then, they smelled alcohol on him and Lindsey admitted he'd been drinking at a Doraville strip club, records said… DeKalb (where he was arrested) police said Lindsey failed a field sobriety test, putting his foot down four times when he was supposed to stand on one leg. The test only lasted seven seconds because Lindsey stopped counting, and placed his hands behind his back.”  Another thing that bothers me here is that Lindsey tried to use his badge at the beginning to get out of the arrest.  Doing this for a minor traffic offense or speeding is one thing, but for a DUI is completely another.

 This is a video to make the public aware of drinking
and driving, but the main focus of it is actually a
former chief of police who got a DUI.

Based on my opinion, any police officer, no matter what their rank is, should lose their job if they are found while driving drunk.  Whether or not they are convicted, if the officer has a blood alcohol content above 0.08, then they should not have the responsibility of enforcing the law.  Driving while intoxicated is no way to display the best qualities that a police officer should have.  I actually think that any police officer whose blood alcohol content is above 0.00 should lose their job, but the law says 0.08.  Officers should have a better understanding than anyone of the dangers of drinking and driving because it is something that they every single day at work.  While police officers are people, too, and everybody makes mistakes, I think that they should be held to a higher standard due to their position in society.

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15 comments:

  1. Great points in your blog. I feel the same exact way about this when police officers break laws in general not just a DUI. Police officers need to be held to a much higher standard and if they are found breaking the law in anyway I feel like the public losses respect for police officers in general. Cops like this need to realize they are on the spot 24/7 not just while on-duty.

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  2. Like Kerolos says, you bring up may good points that I agree with. I think that police officers should hold other officers and public officials to the same standard as ordinary citizens, maybe even higher. However, I feel that many officers view their 'organization as a culture' which may prevent justice from being distributed fairly. In situations like the example provided, on duty police officers may be more inclined to look the other way.

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  3. Police officers and any other person with a high ranking job should be held to a higher standard and punished as if they are any other regular citizen if they commit DUI.

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  4. Agreeing with all the other commments, Police officers have a much higher standard than your normal citizens. If a police officer breaks the law, he or she must be punished. If not than it is an injustice to normal citizens who the police protect and serve. Even police officers must be accountable for their actions.

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  5. I think that it is very important for people, especially police, to receive punishment if they do something wrong. In this incident, like you said, police are supposed to be the ones enforcing the law and making sure that it is not broken. With something as serious as a DUI, I think an officer should receive harsher punishment if not lose there job. Of all people, they should know better then to drive drunk and receive a serious consequence for it. I would not feel comfortable living somewhere if I knew that the Chief of police had a DUI on his record. What does that mean for the rest of the officers as well? If the Chief is getting away with it and keeping his job, will other cops in that department?

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  6. I think it is very hypocritical for authority figures who put people behind bars for DUIs to turn around and do the exact same thing. I feel like you should not be doing something as a career that you don’t completely love and believe in, and obviously these cops, etc. do not feel that strongly about DUIs when they are doing the exact same thing. Driving under the influence is very dangerous and illegal, and people get in big trouble for it. If it is so bad that it must be punishable by jailtime, I don’t understand how the people who enforce that jailtime can do what they supposedly believe to be so dangerous. Authority figures who get DUIs should definitely lose their jobs and face the same penalties, if not worse penalties, than others who get DUIs. These people base their lives around ensuring that people don’t do illegal things, like drive under the influence, so they should know better than anyone not to do it.

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  7. I think it is very hypocritical for authority figures who put people behind bars for DUIs to turn around and do the exact same thing. I feel like you should not be doing something as a career that you don’t completely love and believe in, and obviously these cops, etc. do not feel that strongly about DUIs when they are doing the exact same thing. Driving under the influence is very dangerous and illegal, and people get in big trouble for it. If it is so bad that it must be punishable by jailtime, I don’t understand how the people who enforce that jailtime can do what they supposedly believe to be so dangerous. Authority figures who get DUIs should definitely lose their jobs and face the same penalties, if not worse penalties, than others who get DUIs. These people base their lives around ensuring that people don’t do illegal things, like drive under the influence, so they should know better than anyone not to do it.

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  8. I totally agree police officers and other public officials should be held to a higher standard and be punished severely. When police get DUI's the public does lose respect towards them, because they are suppose to enforce the law not break it.

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  9. I completely agree that an officer or higher official should lose their job if they have gotten a DUI. Like you said they are the ones who are supposed to be enforcing the laws and should be held to a higher standard. Out of everyone they should know they consequences of their actions. I don't know if they think that because they hold a higher position that its ok for them to slip up every once in awhile, but i personally think that if they commit a crime that they should be seriously punished for it.

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  10. How many times have we seen a police officer speed, blow a stop sign, or pull an illegal U-turn? I know that the community orientated model is supposed to bring a renewed view and stereotype to policing, however it only takes one or two bad examples to skew the whole system. This DUI comes at no shock to me. This Chief or any officer should know better and hold themselves to higher standards. I personally have seen on this campus 100’s of police fire up their lights to pull over people after they just broke the same minute law a few seconds previously.Hypocrites or not it only takes one bad egg to spoil a bunch sadly.

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  11. I have heard many stories on the issue of police officer breaking the law and not face the punishment that a normal citizen would face if they committed that crime. I dont think that police officers should be held to a higher standard and face more punishment then others, but just as they are a regular citizen. The reason I say that, is because everyone screws up, but one screw up should not be the end of their career.

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  12. That is so screwed up. Police are supposed to be the law and enforcing the law, not breaking it. Especially the chief of police...that kind of behavior is not acceptable and is very hypocritical in every aspect of their career. I bet a lot of these officers who are charged are not punished as harshly as a normal person would be because they are police officers. Police should be held accountable for their actions to the standard that normal citizens are.

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  13. I can agree 100% that law enforcement officials should be the ones enforcing a law, but in general we all know that people still follow the blue code of silence. We all hear of the stories where people get let off because officers felt bad for people who were law enforcement and let them go, or had then call a ride to make it the rest of the way home. It's always going to happen, is it wrong? Would people be so hypocritical if you were the cop and wanted a break just because you had one too many. We all want a break when it comes to the law and I agree that it should be enforced, but a lot of people think that just because they are the law they deserve a break. There are also times where cops let everyday average go off and follow him home. Same thing, it's harsh to let a man lose his job over a mistake, if it was a reoccurring mistake then that is different. Getting the actual DUI is different because the man knew his limits. In general I'm up in the air about this matter until I have enough experience to pass judgment.

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  14. Couldn't agree more that police should not be driving if they have had a few drinks, because NO ONE should be driving. One of my friends back home had a brother who is a police officer and he thinks its ok to drink and drive because he can name drop his brother. I hope if any offer pulls him over they would arrest him and not let him off just because his brother is an officer. If you have family or are an officer yourself and you think its ok to drive because you can talk your way out of a ticket, just think what happens if you kill someone while driving. It is not safe and there is always an other way to get home.

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