Monday, August 26, 2013

Dude, for... seriously?

So a Johnson County, IN deputy saw a motorcyclist pass a semi at about twenty over and fail to signal a lane change, so he lit the blue lights and pulled the dude over.

On making contact with the operator of the motorcycle, the deputy established reasonable, articulable suspicion of Operating While Intoxicated, based on the following five clues:
  1. The rider had watery eyes.
  2. The rider had slurred speech.
  3. The rider had an odor of alcohol on his breath.
  4. The rider admitted to drinking "the night before".
  5. The rider had a badge and ID showing he was a member of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
I think point number five by itself should be considered Probable Cause for arrest on OWI these days.

I gotta hand it to Sgt. Scott for breaking the pattern: Usually drunk IMPD cops are running motorcycles over, not riding them.


Old NFO said...

Will it be swept under the rug like the others???

Tam said...

Old NFO,

Never heard a front page trial called "swept under the rug" before, but if we're using that definition, I'm sure it will be "swept under the rug" on page one and the six o'clock news.

Ancient Woodsman said...

Correction on the terminology in #3. First-week Academy students learn this one by rote: "I detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage..." Not the odor of alcohol, as first-week defense attorneys apparently learn at whatever school they go to - alcohol has no odor.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

I'm beginning to think being an alcoholic is a prerequisite on the IMPD application...

Lee Scuppers said...

At least he must have remembered to switch the blinker off from the last time, which is more than I can do cold sober.

RabidAlien said...

The burning question is, though...was it HIS motorcycle?

Attila said...

Welp, that didn't take long.

"Our Apologies. We're protecting law enforcement officers behaving badly."

Tam said...


Oh, obviously that's what it must be. The local news channels are in cahoots with the po-po and would never want to sink their teeth into a juicy story like a drunk cop on a motorcycle! How could you sell ads with a story like that?


Ed said...

A previous commenter referred to the legalese of the "odor of an alcoholic beverage" being preferred over the "odor of alcohol" as "alcohol has no odor".

No. I have a copy of "The Merck Index, 9th Edition" copyrighted 1976, a reference book of the properties of chemicals. Under the listing for "Alcohol, Anhydrous" is this description:
"Clear, colorless, very mobile, flammable liquid; pleasant odor; burning taste."

Something that has no odor cannot be correctly described as "pleasant". Having a good sense of smell, worked as an EMT and encountered individuals with hospital lab certified high blood alcohol levels, I can tell you firsthand that you can clearly smell the alcohol, not just the "beverage". Beverages such as beer and whiskey can add their own scent notes to the mix, but the predominate smell is alcohol.

Grain Neutral Spirits is described as having "neutral odor", but will still smell like alcohol:

Since you can become intoxicated from inhaling alcohol fumes, then references to smelling the odor of a "beverage" may not be appropriate. One of the jokes in an ER occupied by several extremely inebriated individuals was that you could become intoxicated by breathing deeply.

Anonymous said...

As pointed out on a local forum: At least they arrested the officer. In years past, we might never have heard about any drunk-driving LEO unless there were bodies and wreckage.

Rick C said...

Hey, the story's back and wow, what a mugshot. This guy looks like he had really tied one on.

Matt G said...

Ed, I've fought the "Odor Of An Alcoholic Beverage" fight for years, but prosecutors keep pointing to case law which found that witnesses could not define what the odor of alcohol smelled like, so they insist that we use the verbiage "Odor Of An Alcoholic Beverage" every time. The claim is that alcohol has no odor in and of itself, and that what you're really smelling on the guy is the metabolite of the alcoholic beverage. Well, yes, you can smell the metabolites a lot, especially out of the pores of a person who tied one on a couple of hours ago. But when you've got a fresh drunk, you sure as hell can smell alcohol on their breath, just like you can smell it when you open a 1 liter bottle marked "Ethanol, 97%". I went to college, and I had me some trashcan punch on occasion, and I know damned good an well what the odor of Everclear was. To get any stronger alcohol, they would have had to use benzine to separate the molecule. That wasn't the beverage which made my eyes water and gave off the "pleasant" odor; it was effin' alcohol.

I get on the stand, and say "alcoholic beverage" to keep my prosecutor happy, but inside, I'm rolling my eyes and saying "alcohol."

If I ever come across a case of someone using an alcohol enema, I'm not using the term "alcoholic beverage," though.

mikee said...

If your news is full of drunken Indy police, you might wonder what real malfeasance is ongoing in the Department, that is not reported in the papers.

It is easy to report on drunken cops. It is a bit harder to uncover real corruption. But if the cops figure they can drive drunk, what else are they up to?

NotClauswitz said...

He looks Scottish with that red hair and rosey complexion. I thought they could hold it better?

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...


You mean like this?

Attila said...

Miss Tam,

You have a point. I do jump to conclusions whenever I see a story that's suddenly unavailable, and there is no practical reason for concealing this one.