Former DA Suing Over DUI Stop in Oregon

something about the shoe and other footsJSmith Photo/Foter.comPaul Burgett retired as district attorney in Coos County, Oregon in 2007 and is now suing over a traffic stop made in 2011. Via the Register Guard:

According to the suit, [Officer Sean] Sanborn accused Burgett of failing to dim his headlights for oncoming traffic, a charge Burgett denied and was later acquitted on. After discovering that Burgett was a former longtime district attorney, Sanborn allegedly asked a dispatcher to inform Coquille Police Chief Janis Blue that he had stopped Burgett.

After returning to Burgett’s car, Sanborn reportedly asked Burgett to exit the vehicle and perform a series of tests to determine if he was intoxicated. Burgett says he told Sanborn the tests would not be effective because of his age, then 63, and physical limitations, which included a torn Achilles tendon and a pinched nerve in his neck.

Sanborn insisted on the tests anyway, but the suit claims he conducted them on a sloping surface instead of a level one as required. Sanborn claimed Burgett failed the tests and arrested him for drunken driving, taking Burgett away in handcuffs and leaving his wife, her mother and the grandchild [the passengers] behind in their car.

Burgett blew a .04 at the station (.08 is the legal limit) and was arrested because a cop is allowed to make an arrest even when the BAC is below the legal limit if there’s impaired driving. The state attorney general’s office (which had jurisdiction because Burgett was a former DA with the county) recommended dropping the charges. According to the Guard, the traffic violation (the undimmed headlights) did go to court, where Burgett was found not guilty when the cop’s evidence didn’t match what he said happened.

Burgett’s lawsuit claims the cop never had a legal ground to stop him in the first place, and that Coquille’s police department was “deliberately indifferent” to the fact that its cops needed training and discipline.

A deputy DA under Burgett received a state award in 2007 for having more DUI prosecutions than any other attorney in the state. Burgett nominated her, and noted at the time Coos County had twice as many DUI cases per-capita than nearby Benton County. Burgett retired early rather than deal with budget cuts and layoffs.

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  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Burgett blew a .04 at the station (.08 is the legal limit) and was arrested because a cop is allowed to make an arrest even when the BAC is below the legal limit if there’s impaired driving.

    Then why have the law to begin with (other than FYTW)?

  • PH2050||

    What's crazy to me is that failing to dim your highbeams is considered impaired driving?

  • some guy||

    It sounds like the cop stopped Burgett for failing to dim his lights (which must be illegal there) then decided to test him for DUI.

  • ||

    It's just one of the panoply of excuses the cops have to pull you over. But the thing is, they can just make shit up. You were weaving. Your brights were on. Your taillight was out. You were driving too fast. You were driving too slow. You didn't signal when you turned. You rolled through that stop sign.

  • R C Dean||

    Unless you are rocking an always-on dashcam, Russian-style, its your word against theirs on traffic stops. And we know how that turns out.

  • Brett L||

    Yup. Which is why I'm going full Russian. Including not saying a goddamn thing to the cops about my dashcam because I suspect them of not having my best interest in their tiny, Grinch hearts.

  • Harvard||

    Just be sure to Bambuser the video to the cloud. Those cameras have a habit of malfunctioning after impoundment.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    QIK is also good...real time upload.

  • PH2050||

    Those cameras have a habit of malfunctioning after impoundment

    My hypothesis: an electromagnetic field that surrounds law enforcement officers which disrupts the functioning of modern electronics. This field, when measured, seems strongest in the hand and boot areas of the LEO body.

    It is encouraged to keep your personal electronic devices away from these regions of the LEO anatomy.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Driving too close to the lane divider and license place light too dim were two of the more egregious ones for which I've been pulled over. Bitches.

  • mnarayan||

    Driving too close to the lane divider

    lolwut?

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    You were weaving. - yep
    Your brights were on. - yep
    You were driving too fast. - yep
    You were driving too slow. - yep (my BIL got this one)
    You didn't signal when you turned. - yep
    You rolled through that stop sign. - yep (mostly true as I consider stop signs as mere suggestions.)

  • SugarFree||

    I got "improper take-off" once for my truck ties spinning about a half-turn in gravel while it was raining. He was so proud, you'd think he'd caught Jack the Ripper.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Some believe that he did.

  • Brandon||

    The fact that he was right is incidental. He didn't know who he had, since clearly SF is still among us.

  • Harvard||

    And the famous "leaving a driveway before coming to a complete stop".

  • SugarFree||

    I've never even heard of that one.

    In Kentucky, entering the intersection after the light has turned yellow is considered running a red light.

  • Pro Libertate||

    What kind of barbaric state do you live in?

  • SugarFree||

    I've been ticketed for it, too. Fucking assholes.

  • ||

    What is the point of yellow lights in that case? That doesn't even make sense.

  • Almanian!||

    The state of "sobriety"

  • Pro Libertate||

    With all of the bourbon there, you'd think they'd be cooler about "running" yellow lights.

  • Zeb||

    Then why do they even have yellow lights?

  • Pro Libertate||

    To tempt you into fine-producing behavior, what else?

    FOLLOW THE MONEY.

  • Almanian!||

    Then why do they even have yellow lights?

    They don't want to offend Asians? Just a guess...

  • jesse.in.mb||

    In Kentucky, entering the intersection after the light has turned yellow is considered running a red light.

    My college roommate (from Oregon) managed to cause an accident in CA once because he stopped when the light turned yellow instead of blowing through the light as fast as possible. Oregon is serious about the way it treats its yellow lights. His car was not hit but two or three cars behind him were involved.

  • Hugh Akston||

    You lived in Stauffer I take it?

  • jesse.in.mb||

    Ball and Wardman (I wasn't a in the Whittier Scholars program, a friend was the RA and they didn't have enough people to fill it out that year).

    I made alcohol in Ball just to skirt the rule that you couldn't bring alcohol into the building.

  • ||

    If I see Oregon plates, I immediately try and get ahead of the vehicle sporting them before the horrifically bad Oregon driver can do something retarded. Same with British Columbia plates.

  • SIV||

    Kentucky sucks. That one can't be in the Uniform Traffic Code. Do they have "yellow light" cameras...yet?

  • SugarFree||

    Lexington is still free of automatic ticketing robots so far. Might cut into overtime available for our hilariously obese cops.

  • B.P.||

    And yet, every time I stop at a liquor store on the way to visit my parents in central KY, I have a to-go cup with a straw thrust into my hand.

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    I got pulled over in New Haven CT for "driving too close to the curb side of the lane". I was rather baffled, but later realized I was actually pulled over for "driving late at night with a rusty older model car", which I had forgotten was a crime.

    It was also odd in that he didn't pull me over, so much as just follow me home. Didn't turn on his lights until I was parked in front of my house.

  • umh||

    I've had that happen to me; the follow you home bit that is. I guess they were following to see what I was "up to". I guess they were disappointed too.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    They probably consider the inability to complete the field test to demonstrate impairment.

    At this point in my life, I have days when I couldn't balance on one foot if it meant I'd get to be king of all Londinium and wear a shiny hat.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Because when you hit .08 you're fucked, even if you pass the sobriety tests.

  • PH2050||

    I'm torn between feeling pity for another victim of The State and feeling pleasure at seeing a former wielder of its power subjected to its bullshit.

  • Harvard||

    +100

  • Cliché Bandit||

    no real winners here

  • PH2050||

    Sad but true.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    I used to live in a place where they had a "license check" stop point on the same road, in the same place every Friday night all summer long. "Oddly," right after asking for license and registration, they always asked if I'd been drinking. At the time I hadn't had more than one beer a week in about three years.

  • some guy||

    they always asked if I'd been drinking

    If they say "yes", do a sobriety check.

    If they say "no", assume they are lying and do a sobriety check.

  • R C Dean||

    "Nah. I'm way too baked to drink."

  • fish||

    WINNER!

  • Zeb||

    Is that possible?

  • sarcasmic||

    It is possible to be so baked you simply forget you have a beverage.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    "Have you?"

  • some guy||

    Burgett says he told Sanborn the tests would not be effective because of his age, then 63, and physical limitations, which included a torn Achilles tendon and a pinched nerve in his neck.

    I can't wait until I'm old enough to plausibly use this excuse.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Get run over by a car and you get to use that excuse a mite earlier.

  • Brett L||

    Former DA: "Hey, these laws suck when I'm one of the little people!"

  • ||

    Exactly. They didn't show me professional courtesy, damn it!

  • ||

    Bingo. I'm having a real hard time mustering sympathy.

    "Concentration camp guard accused of Hitler treason and roasted in own oven."

  • sarcasmic||

    Yeah. Fuck him. With a dirty mop.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...Coquille’s police department was “deliberately indifferent” to the fact that its cops needed training and discipline.

    The one police department in the land where that's a problem.

  • Almanian!||

    Isolataed. Incident.

  • R C Dean||

    And not a single note of self-awareness or irony here, coming from a man who had years and years as DA to make sure the po-po were up to snuff.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Coquille’s police department was “deliberately indifferent” to the fact that its cops needed training and discipline are a bunch of raging authoritarian assholes.

    Also, live by the zealous fanatical prosecution of DUI, et c.

  • PH2050||

    zealous fanatical prosecution of DUI

    I'm not looking forward to widespread adoption of automated vehicles because I'm scared of what they will come up with to replace all that revenue (and all that income for their buddies who run the "classes" you have to take when convicted of a DUI)

  • Jgalt1975||

    How disastrous was the police officer as a witness that the defendant was able to beat a charge of "failing to dim headlights"? (I'm assuming there was no physical evidence one way or another.)

  • Almanian!||

    My eyes are STILL little, tiny dots from the glare! They STILL haven't dilated back to normal!

    No? Not buying it?

  • cavalier973||

    OT:
    "Mike Huckabee
    The official results from our 2016 GOP straw poll are in (including the addition of the top 4 write-in candidates).

    Official Results:

    1. Rand Paul
    2. Ted Cruz
    3. WRITE IN - Mike Huckabee
    4. Marco Rubio
    5. Paul Ryan
    6. WRITE-IN - Dr. Benjamin Carson
    7. Rick Santorum
    8. Jeb Bush
    9. Chris Christie
    10. Bobby Jindal
    11. Scott Walker
    12. WRITE-IN – Sarah Palin
    13. WRITE-IN – Rick Perry
    14. Jon Huntsman

    Governor Huckabee wants to thank everyone for participating in this poll. With over 43,000+ official votes we believe this was the largest poll of it's kind so far this year online. Thank you again for voting and your interest in this poll. We will post the state by state breakdown this evening at 8:30PM. We think the state by state results will surprise some of you!"

  • SugarFree||

    The GOP desperately needs to be treated for its multiple personality disorder.

  • Harvard||

    Two words here. "Hillary Clinton".

    Two more words here. Eight Years

  • SugarFree||

    Whatevs. Everyone knows that after they let the Democrats wipe their ass with the country for sixteen years, the GOP with have them right where they want them.

  • Zeb||

    I still don't believe it. She's too old and has too much baggage.

  • ||

    It doesn't matter. If "Hillary" becomes the TEAM BLUE narrative...that's it, she's the candidate, and they will all line up dutifully behind her.

  • R C Dean||

    Another "historic" candidate, first woman, as the Dems try to work that old "first [fill in the blank]" diversity quota-filling magic again.

    Next of course, will be the first Hispanic, first gay, first lesbian, etc. Shame we've already had our first handicapped and our first morbidly obese President, or those would be on the list, too.

  • cavalier973||

    under her EYES!!!

  • SugarFree||

    The rallying cry is "Madam President!" A woman at any cost now that the Black guy box has been ticked off.

  • ||

    Wait...it's all becoming clear now: Hillary for President and the next Dr. Who!

  • SugarFree||

    A time travelling Bill and Hillary would be a hilarious sitcom, especially as she tries to keep him from banging every fat chick the timestream has to offer.

  • cavalier973||

    I just had an image of one of those plump Renaissance chick paintings, with Bill's flabby face peeking over the mound of her backside.

    *shudder*

  • ||

    "On today's episode, Bill and Hill go back to 1980, where Bill puts the moves on Mindy Cohn on the set of The Facts of Life."

  • Almanian!||

    *BARF*

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Considering the probable SoCon leanings of a typical Huckabee reader/watcher, this could be considered positive.

  • SIV||

    Notable SoCon Matt Welch was a guest this past weekend. The Huckster's viewing demographic isn't any more SoCon than any other Fox News programming.

  • Almanian!||

    Notable SoCon Matt Welch

    Well, he IS a huge baseball fan. So he's at least under suspicion.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Notable SoCon Matt Welch was a guest this past weekend.

    He was on MSNBC on July 31, so I guess Fox programming is no more SoCon than MSNBC?

  • Zeb||

    How do you get news from the future?

  • cavalier973||

    Simple. I'm not only a psychic, I'm a FUTURE psychic.

  • cavalier973||

    Which reminds me; you're about to think about a green kangaroo.

  • mr simple||

    noted at the time Coos County had twice as many DUI cases per-capita than nearby Benton County.

    Are they bragging that the town is full of drunks?

  • Almanian!||

    That's what we like to call "a target-rich environment", son.

  • Almanian!||

    God, I hate Mark Huckabee, AKA "The Huckster". What a shit stain. Yeah, HE'D be an improvement over the current President.

    Meet the new boss, just fucking you from a different side than the old boss.

  • cavalier973||

    Does Mike have a brother?

  • Almanian!||

    yes

  • ||

    It's a brother from another family.

  • ||

    OT

    Just watched Gupta's special. Anyone who opposes medical MJ research is a fucking pig and deserves a special place in the 10th level of hell.

    A bit sappy (it is CNN), but a fairly objective look.

  • PH2050||

    I agree with your assessment. I was sure Gupta would paint it in the worst possible light but he didn't.

    Yeah, they knew to tug on the heartstrings but I feel in the WoD that may be one of the few effective methods available since reason is doing poorly thus far.

  • R C Dean||

    Medical MJ research:

    A one-sentence questionnaire:

    Does using MJ help you manage your symptoms?

    If yes, then MJ is being successfully used for medical purposes.

  • sarcasmic||

    If yes, then MJ is being successfully used for medical purposes.

    A: Yeah, but it's illegal!

    Q: Why is it illegal?

    A: Because it's bad!

    Q: Why is it bad?

    A: Because it's illegal!

    Q: Why is it illegal?

    A: Because it's bad!

    Q: Why is it bad?

    A: Because it's illegal!

    .
    .
    .

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Although some studies have shown marijuana to inhibit aggressive behavior and violence, the National Research Council concluded that the “long-term use of marijuana may alter the nervous system in ways that do promote violence.”[25] No place serves as a better example than Amsterdam.

    Just did a quick googlefu on why mj should be kept illegal and ran across this tidbit. Are people from Amsterdam violent?

    From Heritage.org

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes. They are made violent by pot. Did you know that Hitler was a pothead? Yep.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    No but the potential to get a Schwinn jammed up your ass at 40mph while stepping out of a "coffee shope" is very high.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Well then, pot turns people into bike thieves. Just ask Vittorio De Sica.

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    Did you even look at the footnotes for that article? Several of them don't even have references, they're just numbered and then blank. What kind of dirty, lying bastards try to lie about pot?

    Oh, right, the government. Right. Sorry, I forget.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    a man who had years and years as DA to make sure the po-po were up to snuff.

    He carefully reviewed those police reports.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Burgett nominated her, and noted at the time Coos County had twice as many DUI cases per-capita than nearby Benton County.

    Must have been after super cop Dave Cox was fired resigned.

    http://www.gazettetimes.com/ne.....db2c0.html

    At the Benton County Jail, Brian Noakes took a breath test, which showed he had no alcohol in his system. He also submitted a urine sample for drug testing by the Oregon State Police crime lab. That test later came back negative for marijuana or any other illegal drug.

    Oops!!

    http://www.gazettetimes.com/ne.....bc8d1.html

    He was going a great job until his actions caused two civil suits to be filed against the department. Then it was CYA time.

  • sarcasmic||

    alt-text: Sandals with socks? Guilty!

  • Lord Humungus||

    funniest time I ever got pulled over:

    Just after high school: Stoner friend invited me and other pal to partake in some bud he just bought. We're in friend #1s Honda Civic. We roll up the windows and toke down. The driver is an experienced smoker and all-around drug user.

    We drive around, stop at a gas station to buy something to drink. At that point we think the attendant narced on us. A few blocks later, we get pulled over by a single deputy in a black 'n' white.

    It's winter, so the driver rolls down his window as the cop comes over - probably letting some wandering smoke disappear into the night air. The cop immediately says he smells something suspicious. Without even missing a beat, the driver says "You mean like marijuana?" This confuses the hell out of the cop. My jaw just hit the floor.

    Long story short - we're ordered out of the car. Cop searches and finds nothing since stoner friend has crotched the weed and pipe. Stoner friend ditched the papers in the snowbank. Cop accuses driver of "being guilty of something", but since the officer's shift is almost over, he doesn't want to do the paperwork.

  • R C Dean||

    See, this is why we always had at least one cigarette going when we blazed up in the car. Even if you thought you could smell pot in there somewhere, we had a bulletproof cover story.

  • sarcasmic||

    I rolled my own cigarettes for years. So what I'd do is roll some green into the tip of a few cigarettes and put them into the tobacco pouch. Then at work or whatever I'd pull one of those out, light it, and the first pull was all green. I'd exhale and quickly drag off the tobacco. If anyone smelled it I'd look around like "Hey who's smoking? I want some!" Nobody ever caught on.

  • PH2050||

    That's a better idea than what we used to do: make oil and use a dropper to distribute it on cigarettes. Didn't need to smoke too many either, they were quite effective.

  • Acosmist||

    .08 is not the legal limit. It's the PER SE limit. Geez. Get an editor.

  • MappRapp||

    Thats what attorneys do best lol.

    www.AnonTactics.tk

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