He's the Bus Driver. What Do You Think He Was Doing?

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The Des Moines Register reports that a bus driver who took a Grimes, Iowa, high school volleyball team to a match last week got loaded during the game, then ran a stop sign and narrowly avoided a head-on collision on the way back before the team's coach made him pull over. Police found a bottle of vodka under his seat, and he blew a 0.16 percent BAC, twice the legal limit. But they charged him with public intoxication instead of drunk driving, because they didn't see him driving. The sixth paragraph offers a possible explanation for the puzzling lenience, noting that the driver "was chief of the Windsor Heights Police Department before retiring in December 2002 after 23 years of service."

[Thanks to Mark Lambert for the tip.]

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  1. “a bottle of Hawkeye Vodka…”

  2. UN
    FUCKING
    BELIEVABLE

    So, if you have a BAC of .20% and cause an accident, you can’t be charged with DUI because you aren’t driving when the cops arrive on scene?

  3. So, if you have a BAC of .20% and cause an accident, you can’t be charged with DUI because you aren’t driving when the cops arrive on scene?

    Doesn’t really mesh well with police being able to come to person’s home and charge them with DUI based on an anonymous tip, does it?

  4. So, if you have a BAC of .20% and cause an accident, you can’t be charged with DUI because you aren’t driving when the cops arrive on scene?

    Correction: if you were Chief of Police and have a BAC of .20% and cause an accident, you can’t be charged with DUI because you aren’t driving when the cops arrive on scene.

    It’s called selective enforcement. It’s popular with, you know, cops.

  5. Um, res ipsa loquitur?????

  6. If Iowa’s laws are similar to Texas the chief was probably 4X the legal limit. In order to drive a bus, you must have a commercial driver’s license and the level of presumed intoxication is halved to 0.04%.

  7. How does this relate to that recent CA Supreme Court decision (People v. Thompson, S130174) that said warrantless search is OK in a DUI case (allegedly, so that police can get BAC evidence before it dissipates), even if the suspect is at home, not driving at the time police break down his door, and was not seen to be driving (impaired or otherwise) by law enforcement officers?

    I see multiple competing local standards emerging. Looks like a case where the Feds have to step in and assert authority, or otherwise we will have chaos throughout the land. Chaos, I tells ya! 😉

  8. I don’t blame the guy… bus drivin’s harder on your head than on your feet.

  9. Drunk driving is vastly overhyped.

    Most drunks get home safely, just like most people.

    F.T.Grampp on MADD : “If it weren’t for the drunks, a lot of them wouldn’t be mothers.”

  10. I’d be interested to know the BAC’s of the volleyball players.

  11. I doubt if someone driving a school bus has the same rights to refuse a search that an owner/driver of a private vehicle does. If the school district owns the bus, they would certainly allow the search. If Chief Drunk is driving for a private company, the bus’s owner would agree to a police search. If the private bus is under contract to a school district, that may be written into the contract.

    None of this makes any difference if the local cops turn a blind eye to a Brother In Blue.

    Kevin

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