Last week one of our most highly respected high school coaches was arrested for DUI. He was awakened from a sound sleep by his adult children seeking a ride home after having tipped a few too many. He was stopped for having too many people in his back seat. That supposedly was his crime. The car reeked of alcohol. Of course it did. It was full of people who had been drinking. Except the driver. He was given and passed the breathalyzer test. What he could not do was the toe to heel test. How many of us could when we're stone cold sober, what's more half asleep? Why was he even tested?
He asked for and got an expedited urine test. He was clean. Charges were dropped. While apologizing, the chief of police stood by the arresting officer stating he had but two years experience. With a bit more he might have been better able to assess the situation. He was on the night shift - alone. Perhaps partnering with a more experienced officer would have been helpful. Especially late at night when intoxicated drivers are most likely to be out. Just a thought.
As often happens there was another story Saturday morning that brings the story full circle. A local radio station sponsored a lake cruise during which a bartender heard a splash. Concerned someone had fallen overboard, rescue crews were scrambled and a head count was taken when the boat docked. The participants were intoxicated, belligerent and refused to cooperate. The crew reported 295 got on the boat, 305 got off. Who was intoxicated??
Investigating authorities were said to have claimed they still were not sure whether or not anyone drowned. After holding the participants for 10 to 15 minutes they were allowed to leave the dock.
What was not reported is whether any were detained for public intoxication, if any were later picked up on DUI charges; if so who and did they pass or fail the tests? If the coach made headlines, why not these folks? If it wasn't deemed necessary to keep an eye on their departures, considering their behavior, why not?
Is stopping a driver with too many in the back seat a criminal offense while a boat full of obviously intoxicated party goers are left to their own devices for moving on from the party scene?
I'm sure there is all sorts of prodcedural gibberish that would explain everything away. It doesn't explain away the fact that a good portion of that crowd was in no condition to get behind a wheel - and did.
This doesn't even rate as a double standard. This is no standard.