Tuesday, March 12, 2013

DUI Dishonor Roll

DUI isn't always alcohol 

On Sunday night around 10:00 PM, near 301 South Pleasant Street, about halfway between Amherst town center and my house, Amherst Police stopped a green 1997 Dodge Avenger for an expired inspection sticker and defective equipment.

The driver, Micheal Drake, age 29, made "furtive movements" (suspicious) so the officer called in for back up. The driver and vehicle was searched for weapons.

He was found to have a revoked license for being a "Habitual Traffic Offender" and in possession of a class E substance (narcotic prescription).

Click to enlarge/read


Dr. Ed said...

The officer could not only see but READ the inspection sticker at 10 PM -- well after dark -- on a road that isn't all that well lit? And lit with Sodium Vapor lights that aren't exactly helpful in identifying colors?


Sometimes there is "blind, stupid luck" like one incident I was involved in where the perps who had just broken into a house and trying to quickly get out-of-town (a) went the wrong way down a 1-way street and (b) nearly had a head-on collision with a marked cruiser -- yes the officer had probable cause to stop, he kinda had to because there was a car coming at him...

(I shouldn't have to add this but will be defamed if I don't -- I was asked to confirm that this was the vehicle I had seen earlier. And the other officer sheepishly admitted that he had been going to the 7-11 for a snack when he "kinda ran into this.")

Massachusetts inspection stickers are still on the right, a legacy from the days before emissions testing when everyone's sticker expired on May & Nov 15th and the Registry Police spent the rest of both months standing on the side of the road and citing people for expired ones.

In other words, the sticker is in the worst place to be seen by an oncoming (police) car on a two-lane road. A dark road -- and I've had cops point out how little one can see in/about a moving vehicle at night.

So how did the officer see the sticker well enough to realize it was expired?

Dr. Ed said...

Reading the police report again, I note an "equipment violation" and if that were something like a headlight out, that is noticeable at night, and that -- not the expired inspection sticker -- was the officer's probable cause to stop the vehicle.

And something I want to see officers do -- when a headlight or taillight is out and the entire corner of the vehicle is unlit, it really is quite dangerous.

So perhaps Larry you ought to make an inquiry as to exactly why the officer stopped the vehicle -- if it really was the inspection sticker, I want to know how the h*** he/she/it was able to even SEE the sticker in the first place.

And if it wasn't, if it was the equipment violation, it is appropriate to give the officer credit for doing good police work -- the grunt work which in this case led to something far more than likely was expected.

We've all heard of people who are on their fourth or fifth OUI and still had a valid license, I remember one case where a former Registrar held up the printout of someone's list of offenses and said that it "was taller that" he was -- in light of this, what exactly do you have to do to get your license revoked for being a "habitual offender"?

I'm glad the perp is off the road, I hope he goes to jail, and I'm hoping that the APD did this "by the book" so that he does go to jail. Amherst has real problems, and they are not UMass Students.

Anonymous said...

First off Ed, very few will ever see jail time in the Corruptwealth for a motor vehicle offense; perhaps rightly so, it's a motor vehicle offense with no damage, injury...etc. as for your rambling about an inspection sticker offense, maybe the car was stopped for the equipment violation and the officer noticed the sticker during the commission of his lawful stop? Did you ever think that, since there is a database for everything, that the cops don't know what your inspection status is when they run your registration? Your sticker has your license plate number on it (go and look). Bet they are connected in the RMV database... Remember that the government was looking to suspend your registration if you did not inspect your cars a few years back...

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ed- Anon 2:26 is correct. your inspection sticker is connected through the DMV database, so when an officer runs your plate as a random query, your inspecton sticker results are dispalyed, thus giving probably cause.
Im anxiously waiting for your next theory on corrupt cops.


Anonymous said...

charged with possession ....no mention of operating under the influence

Dr. Ed said...

Im anxiously waiting for your next theory on corrupt cops.

"Corrupt" is not the right word because I think their hearts are in the right place, and I support the ends they seek to accomplish, I just have issues with the means by which they attempt to accomplish those ends.

One night, I was told that I had been stopped for not having a license plate clean enough to be visible at 6000 feet. Yes, that's more than a mile -- and 90 MGL 6 specifies 60 feet, but whatever.

The officer repeatedly accused me of having eluded him earlier that night, but when he finally realized that I was exactly what I said I was - someone who had spent all day in the law library and was simply heading home - and let me go, I genuinely wished him luck in catching the person who had eluded him.

There wasn't anybody, he nonchalantly remarked.


So stop a random car for an offense that doesn't exist, scream at the operator and accuse him of having done something that you know he hasn't done because no one did it, and then see what you can bust him for.

Like I said, I support the ends, not the means, and what is that little part about "the ends not justifying the means..."