Tuesday, October 7, 2014

DUI Dishonor Roll

 Anthony W Alicea being arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court

The spectacular alcohol induced crash in North Amherst early Sunday morning was not the only DUI arrest over the weekend.

 Click to enlarge/read

This one history will little note nor long remember.   Although with impaired drivers, the spectacular incidents are always just around the bend.


Anonymous said...

I'd still love to see some reporting on the number of ETOH calls that APD or EMT had to respond to this past weekend. Was the number up or down? Did the diminished police force affect the number? Did the APD's change in philosophy treat ETOH differently? How was the students health and safety impacted in the end?

Other commentators have suggested that in the old days, a call for an ambulance for an ETOH was much rarer, even though binge drinking has been prevalent for years. Someone asked recently "whatever happened to sleeping it off?" Someone, whether it's the kids or cops or whomever, is making more calls for ambulances for drunks, which does tie up our resources, and it's important to determine whether the high number in the past couple of years was necessary or an over-response.

Dr. Ed said...

"Someone, whether it's the kids or cops or whomever, is making more calls for ambulances for drunks,"

While I don't know how it is legal, CDH reports these ETOH transports to Sally Linowiski at UHS, she takes that information to ACT and tells Enku Gelaye who then has one of her underlings bring Code of Conduct charges against them.

Of course they want as many ETOH transports as possible -- they can't make the student pay hundreds of dollars for them to talk about the evils of alcohol without the medical documentation.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, I have a problem with this arrest and particularly the second charge.

A sloppy driver with a .09 BAC is NOT the same thing as some idiot truly driving recklessly with a .20 BAC, and who not only had an accident but sent one (two?) passenger to Bay State.

And yet, you make no distinction and I have a problem with that.

Sure he hit the curb -- the "takedown lights" are blinding, all the flashing blue & white ones are disorienting -- there are reasons why only police cars are allowed to have these sorts of things. Throw in the startle response and the rest, I wonder how many police officers -- sober police officers -- would hit the curb.

"Abrupt negligent actions" when a police car with flashing lights is directly behind you?!?!?

Anonymous said...

Ed, you are the number one defender of drunk drivers.

Dr. Ed said...

"Ed, you are the number one defender of drunk drivers."


This kid was no more dangerous than a woman in the 9th month of pregnancy -- wanna bet she wouldn't make a wide turn due to her reduced physical agility?

In fact, he isn't even accused of "Drunk Driving" -- I believe you will find that he is actually accused of "driving with an elevated BAC because 0.08% is too low a level to prove intoxication.

Remember too that the officer who made this arrest spent the next 90 minutes or so getting the car towed & impounded, prisoner to the station, processed, booked and the rest. (Does a second officer have to come in as well -- I know that is the protocol in some departments. If so, that's two cops off the road.)

How many actually DRUNK drivers do you think the officer might have seen if he hadn't been tied up with the arrest of someone who really wasn't drunk.

I say again that it is the people in the 0.15%-0.25% range who scare me -- and when the police get all of them off the road -- along with all the stoners and high-as-a-kite druggies -- then we can talk about arresting at the 0.09% level....

And it's DOCTOR Ed, damn it, I earned it.

Anonymous said...

So, this guy shouldn't have been arrested due to the BAC of .09 as he is lower than the ones that are a "real danger" at .15%-.20%. By him being arrested there are a few cops tied up dealing with him. You sir are correct. However. Once the cop pulled him over for being a "sloppy driver", and there's signs of impairment, the officer's hands are tied and he has to arrest him. If he doesn't, and then this guy crashes, OR someone runs into him, then you would be screaming that the cop was negligent for letting him go. Law states .08 or above is arrestable, then he gets arrested, an officer cannot tell by watching someone drive whether they are .08, .12 or .20. So when there's probable cause for an officer to pull a car over, they should so they can determine level of intoxication (if any) and take appropriate action. Until then, yes, they should arrest at the .09 level.

Dr. Ed said...

First, it is> Doctor per the same Commonwealth that issued you your rank and if you want me to respect yours, respect mine.

Second, "the officer's hands are tied and he has to arrest him. If he doesn't, and then this guy crashes, OR someone runs into him, then you would be screaming that the cop was negligent for letting him go"

The hell I would -- and I think it is LONG past time for the General Court to override that asinine Ware decision.

Police officers are (hopefully) trained professionals -- and in any case, we trust them to exercise judgment. We trust them to judiciously use deadly force and let them run around with loaded firearms -- a bad judgment call there is going to have vastly more tragic consequences than in letting a dangerously drunk driver continue onward down the highway.

If the officer is grossly negligent, e.g. ignores the fact that the driver doesn't even know what state he is in, then yes, I would be screaming about it -- the same way I would be screaming about a cop who accidentally shot a 3-year-old while playing with his gun.

Sometimes officers will be wrong but if it is an innocent reasonable mistake, with everything else it doesn't go beyond a reprimand from the Chief and a warning not to make a habit of doing such things.

My fear is that what happened to the concept of speeding (which people used to be arrested for) will soon happen to OUI. The broader you define the crime, the less seriously people take the crime and most people now consider a speeding ticket to be revenue driven and not a crime.

Damn it, a 0.2% DRUNK is damn dangerous on the road and I'd like to think that an officer can tell the difference between DRUNK and merely having an excessive blood alcohol level...

And if an officer can't do that, then what the hell good are FSTs for?