“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What if?

So - a question for my cop readers out there - just a random poll:

- You encounter a fellow officer who's DUI. Not just DUI, but well over the limit - what do you do?

- What changes your decision? Is it a stop, or an accident? Are other people around or is it just the two of you? What about their attitude?

Before anyone asks, no this one isn't from personal experience, just taking a poll of sorts. Non-cops are free to share their opinions of course - but curious as to what other officers have to say.

Does "professional courtesy" extend to driving drunk or not?


Gothelittle Rose said...

As someone who is NOT a cop, I'd say...

If there was no accident involved AND he was not a repeat offender, I'd give him a ride home.

Then I'd let him know when he'd sobered up that he got a 'get out of jail free card'... once... because anyone can make a mistake... once... but if you catch him at it again that it's your bound duty for his own sake to nail him to the wall for it. ^.^

I don't know if I'd make a good cop. Considering my various physical difficulties, I'd say probably not. :)

Front Porch Society said...

Boy, that is a tough one.

1. Do you let him off only to know that you are now enforcing a double-standard on everyone else that is OWI?
2. Or book him in and possibly face some serious backlash from whatever department he works for?

I think if I had pulled over a vehicle only to discover the OWI person was an off-duty cop, I would immediately call for my road Sargeant. Explain to him the situation and put the ball in his court. That way, whatever decision is made is on him. Not me.
Or if this "what-if" scenario has already been asked during the FTO process, then I would already know how I should be expected to handle the situation. And then I would proceed as I had been instructed during my training.
Some departments have policies about this.

Although, if you really ask me (off the record, of course!)....If I had to be the one to make the ultimate decision at the scene of the stop, I would book him. We are no better than any person we come in contact with. In fact, we should be more aware of our behavior in public as everyone has their eyes trained on how we act on and off duty. A drunk driver is a drunk driver, no matter what the person does for a living. And a cop should know better than to risk others' lives by getting behind the wheel drunk!

William said...

As a non-police officer, I would hope that you would treat the police officer in the exact same way you would treat me.

In fact, since he is supposed to know the law, and enforce it, with deadly force, he should be held to a higher standard than the average schmoe.

Meadowlark said...

Husband called his Sgt. and they ended up arresting him for DUII. This community is not a big fan of double-standards, although I will say it has happened.

Meadowlark said...

And William, don't plumbers extend professional courtesy? Contractors? Other business owners? It happens all over the place that people who do the same job extend "perks" to their peers. Police officers should be able to do the same.

Although as you saw above, in our area that is not the case. Just putting this out there for arguements sake. :)

William said...


I have no problem with a roofer building his house with the overage salvaged from jobs. Also, if a small business owner wishes to cut a friend a break and cut into his profits, that is his business. If people don't like it, they can go elsewhere.

The paid, trained, armed agents of the state are different. They are not the employer, they are the worker. The moral equivalent is not the plumber offering professional courtesy, but more like a pharmacist filling his mom's prescription from the VA stock and not paying for it. That is taking unfair advantage. The police and fire and other city services are monopolies, and therefore the rules are different. Where I live I can't call the sheriff or the staties or the cops in another jurisdiction, I'm stuck with the ones I got. OK, if I could call someone else for better service perhaps I'd buy your argument.

Being a cop is a crappy job, where you see people at their worst, and involves taking abuse, and occasionally a bullet. For that they deserve respect and honour. That does not mean they get to ignore the law. You may call it professional courtesy, I call it being a thuggish bullyboy with a badge.

Jon said...

As a non-cop, Gothe's initial statement is what I would expect the local law enforcement to do, as I would not be surprised to see a little 'professional' curtesy happen that way. And, I wouldn't be horribly outraged about it.

However, as a citizen who respects his local police force, and will put up with a lot, when I know they're just doing their job - I've also been taken advantage of at least once (I got hit by an offduty police officer once, the situation was questionable, as I found out in discussions with other law enforcement types later - but I got cited - most likely because she was a cop.) and I would *prefer* knowing that if a cop is dumb enough to DUI, he or she gets the same treatment that any other citizen would get.