January 27, 2012

.05 under the limit, under arrest

In my last blog post I indicated that we had another .05 BAC DUI case pending in the District Court. While not totally unusual, it is unfortunate. People are often times surprised to learn that they can be and probably will be, arrested and charged with DUI if they blow a .05.

You see, the Government has a slogan, "over the limit under arrest"; it is well known that the legal limit in this Country is .08. The problem, as I have previously written, is that this information is misleading. In fact, you can be charged with DUI for ANY number that the investigating officer (I/O) feels like arresting. Ie., he can arrest any person that he feels may help his arrest numbers at the end of the month, even if the driver's BAC is .04 or .05 (half the legal limit). Mind you that the Maryland State Law is written that a .05 BAC or lower yields a presumption that the person is NOT intoxicated. But have no fear, if you catch an officer on a bad day or possibly without enough arrests for the month, you're going in.

So getting back to the case.....

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January 19, 2012

Doesn't pay to be drunk and stupid

Holy smoke!
It's tough enough to deal with the police on their rampage to stop all DUI drivers and drivers in general for their illegal activity of driving on Maryland roads, however in some cases, people just bring problems on themselves.

In this brilliant story, the PASSENGER was taken to the station when his driver was arrested because he was too drunk to drive. Apparently the passenger became indignant about the fact that his drunk butt was in the station, even after he was set free, he went about the business of urinating on a sign outside the station and is alleged to have "kicked" the sign he was peeing on.

Well, let it be known that the police do not take kindly to having signs kicked or peed upon because as a result of this unruly behavior, the rebel rouser was apparently arrested. The problem is, during the arrest procedure or at least when the cops went outside their station to advise the young man that it was not ok to pee on their signs, the man apparently took a swing at the cop!

Whoops, always a bad idea to take a swing at cop, drunk or sober! You see, not only are you going to get your ass kicked when you do that, the police will arrest you and throw the book at you. Not a totally unfair result I might ad. Despite the police sometimes being unfairly aggressive in their traffic enforcement activity, (like the .05 case I will be defending next week-blog to follow), they should not have be involved in physical altercations, particularly if the Defendant is drunk and/or stupid and/or both.

If you want a good old fashion ass kicking or otherwise desire to paint a target directly on your face, there are easier ways to do that which do not land you in jail.

Bottom line: If you must get drunk, do try not to be stupid.

January 8, 2012

Police quotas rear their ugly head...again

I have written about DUI arrest quotas before, they are illegal. Quotas are when the police brass tells the rank and file police officers that they are to apprehend X number of traffic/dui offenders over a given period of time. If the cops do what they are told, they can be rewarded with anything from advancement to bonuses to time off etc. If they fail to meet their quota then bad things can happen, like retraining (think Cold War Russia).

The police routinely deny utilizing quotas stating that they are illegal (wink), which in fact they are according to Maryland Law. The basis for a stop and arrest is supposed to be purely one of probable cause of a crime, not one based in motivation of the police officer to achieve something of value for doing his job.

It seems that Howard County law enforcement (in this instance the Howard County Police Chief allegedly) got their/his hand stuck in the old cookie jar. Judge Hantman, sitting on the Howard County District Court bench heard the matter of a female driver that was stopped for speeding. According to Court documents, she had a .17 BAC and was charged accordingly. However, it appears that the police and the brass, acting allegedly in some part as a result of a Federal Grant, were given quotas to meet. This is a no-no. The brass knows this and the police know it too. Now, thanks to the enviable Honorable Judge Hantman, the police know that the Courts are watching, and that the Judges are not just going to go along with business as usual. Ie. Wink wink, arrest everybody and keep up numbers up, even if they were driving below the speed limit and have a .04 BAC. (which does happen).

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