"I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement." ~Calvin Coolidge

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Gymnastics and cheerleading do not qualify you to drive drunk!

We see so many tragic things in police work, when the funny stuff comes along, it’s more than welcomed! Last night I along with another officer stopped a female driving a truck for running a red light at a very busy intersection. I got her stopped, walked up to the drivers door and was hit with the ever so pleasant and completely overwhelming smell of stale beer! I asked for her drivers license, which took 10 minutes to retrieve from the pile of trash and beer labels that she had stuffed in her purse. “Ms. {B} I asked do you know why I stopped you?” Her response, “I think I ran the red light on Carter Blvd.” We were on Ellington Blvd.; that was my first “this chick is toast” clue! Of course when I told her that she wasn’t on that road she started the whole “yes I am, I know where I’m at!” argument. I knew then that this was going to be one of those stops.

In my department we have a separate unit that handles our D.U.I ‘s so that it won’t tie the beat officer up for 2 hours or more. So, I called for a unit and a good friend of mine, {F} showed up. I explained everything to him, which is all on camera and taped.

Officer {F} walks up to her window, identifies himself and asks her to exit her vehicle. She gets out, stumbles and has to grab the side of her truck to hold herself up. This is clue number 2. Now here comes the good stuff, well at least I think it is.

Officer {F} starts the request to perform the D.U.I exercise’s, which consist of Walk the line, One leg stand, Rhomberg Alphabet and finger to nose. I knew then we were in for a show!

The walk the line test took oh, I don’t know, 15 minutes to explain to this poor lush of exactly how it was to be performed. This exercise was demonstrated by Officer {F} during the explanation. Ms. {B} thinks she’s got it so here we go! Ms. {B} very carefully puts one foot in front of the other and is instructed to stand this way until all of the instructions were provided. Should be pretty simple right? Well of course for me and you because we’re not tore up from the floor up! Ms. {B} is all over the place, bending over trying to hold her feet on the line, eventually failing so miserably that Officer {F} has to tell her that we just won’t do this exercise.

Now we have moved on to the one leg stand. Ms. {B} is provided all of the instructions, telling Officer {F} “I know I can do this one, I was in gymnastics and cheerleading!” she exclaims. Officer {F} is excited, maybe she can actually perform the exercise. The instructions are very specific, DO NOT HOP! Ms. {B} is beaming and full of confidence, she was a gymnast and cheerleader remember. Ms{ B} is pumped up, she points her left foot as instructed, holding it 24 inches off the ground instead of the required 6. She is so happy with her accomplishment she grabs her ankle, pulls her leg and ankle up to her butt. She then starts hopping all over the place like a bunny rabbit counting out loud in a very slurred and inaudible voice “One thousand one, one thousand three, one thousand six, one thousand eleven, one thousand twenty, and one thousand thirty!!!” Wow! She looked like a complete idiot and she was so proud of herself; she really thought she passed. She had a huge smile on her face as she looks at Officer {F} waiting for his approval. Officer {F} very calmly looks at her straight faced (which is more than I can say for Myself and the other officer who made the initial stop!) and says “I can see how successful you must have been in your cheerleading and gymnastics career, lets go on to the next exercise.”

Needless to say, you can see what we were dealing with here. The rest of the exercise’s were not performed simply because poor 54 year old, Olympic medalist Ms. {B} just couldn’t continue after her award winning performance of the previous exercise’s. She was placed under arrest and was in complete shock, not understanding how she didn’t pass.

Please don’t drink and drive. Unlike this one, I have so many stories of tragedy involving drunk/buzzed drivers, some that are very close to me involving my family, one of which that left an 11 year old little girl without a mother. This same little girl’s father was struck by a DUI driver in a separate incident, leaving him a functioning paraplegic. I love this man, that’s why I call him Dad and her my best friend!

I’m out and we’ll talk later!


Alison said...

Hi Kojak... curious... does FL have good OUI, DUI laws? MA just revised ours Melanies Law
Can't tell you how many fatalies we had due to speed/drunk driving over the past few years... too many.
Thanks for taking care of business!

200weeks said...

Hi there,
just returning the visit you made to my blog, thanks!
Have added you to my links.
Welcome to the world of police blogging - are your professional standards folk as keen to catch police bloggers & close them down as they are in the UK?


"Tore up from the floor up"....lol..loved that phrase...I am sure it was entertaining to watch her...I am just grateful that you pulled her over when you did...thank God, she didn't kill or hurt anyone..what the hell is wrong with people, that actually think they are ok to drive after drinking? It really burns me up!

Kojak said...

Alison- Thank you for your comment. Yes we have very stringent laws in regards to the operation of any motor vehicle (Lawnmowers included considering I’m from the South!) or even bicycle while intoxicated.

200 Weeks- Hey thanks so much for the link and stopping by for a visit. Well so far our Internal Affairs/ Integrity has not bothered to monitor this activity, at least that I know of. I do know that we are blocked from a number of sites. Be Safe And Keep Up The Fight !

Dixie Chick- Thanks for stopping by! Yeah, it was quite the show, one of the better ones I’ve seen. “Tore up from the floor up”, I guess it’s just one of those Southern sayings! Haha

Anonymous said...

My favorite nephew was killed by a drunk driver back in 2001, right after 9/11. He was one of eight passengers in an SUV that was hit by one young man. All eight died, the drunk driver did not. I cannot begin to tell you the pain involved with this. We had a family friend who was struck many years ago by a drunk driver and ended up as a paraplegic as well. He died a couple of years ago as a result of that accident. I have more familial stories in regards to alcohol. Half the reason I don't drink.

*Goddess* said...

I didn't realize some PD's had separate units for DUI's. Are you required to stay and witness the tests or were you bored;)?

BTW, I don't think I could do that one leg standing sober. Lord knows I've tried many times in my living room. And I think anyone arrested for DUI should have to watch the tape in which they make a complete ass out of themselves. Especially the ones where they're dragged into the PD with no underwear....

Aza said...

As you know DUI’s hit incredibly close to home for me. Thank you for getting another one off the streets. Great Job!

Liz said...

Nicely done! I hope you've got that on video because it sounds like a classic.

FYI- I found your link through Officer Smith's.

Kojak said...

Alison- I’m so sorry that you had to experience the loss of a family member due to the carelessness of another. It never ceases to amaze me that these drunks just never seem to get hurt, but somebody’s loved one pays the price. I keep DUI’s as one of my top priorities.

Goddess- I agree that the one leg stand is a little tough, but God it's funny to watch when they are “Tore Up From The Floor Up”!

We are not required to witness the exercise’s, but we do stay for officer safety reasons. The DUI officers are a great addition, the average DUI will tie the beat officer up for at least 2 hours. When you handle an average of 20 calls per officer a night, you just don’t have time to be tied up that long.

Aza- I know how much you and Dad have suffered at the hands of these careless and self centered people. We will keep up the fight!

Liz- Thanks! Yes, DUI units record every stop. I do have to say it was one of the better ones that I have seen! Thank you for stopping by.