Last week, we discussed whether certain people, such as celebrities and politicians, might receive special treatment when facing DUI charges in Florida. Some Floridians might think that not only are public figures treated as if they are above the law, but so too are law enforcement officers themselves. One Florida police officer reportedly recently tried to use his position to get out of drunk driving charges.
Dashcam video has been released that shows the police officer pleading to be let go when he was arrested Feb. 16 in Plantation for allegedly driving drunk.
The off-duty officer was apparently pulled over by the Florida Highway Patrol after he made an illegal U-turn. An FHP trooper thought the driver smelled like alcohol and proceeded to administer field sobriety tests during the traffic stop.
The video shows the officer asking to be let go several times during the investigation. The officer can be heard telling the trooper, "We're all cops, man. Come on, I'm Metro," and suggesting that if the shoe were on the other foot, he would let the trooper go free.
The officer, who refused to take a breath test, was ultimately booked at Broward County Jail, according to a news report.
He has now been suspended from his police duties with pay.
All of us should be subjected to the same laws here in Florida. However, we should all also enjoy the same rights to criminal defense counsel and to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Even when DUI evidence seems to be heavily weighted against a driver, things are not always as they seem.
Source: Yahoo! News, "Drunk off-duty police officer attempts to get arresting trooper to let him off," Charlene Sakoda, March 5, 2014