MADD at Drunk Drivers, but Not Influential Ones


A few months ago, Delaware state Rep. John C. Atkins was pulled over in Ocean City Maryland under suspicion of drunken driving. Immediately after getting pulled over, he flahsed his Delaware Legislature ID, after which the officer assured him that he wouldn't be arrested. Problem is, Atkins took a roadside breath test which came back at .14, well over the legal limit.

Atkins wasn't arrested. His car wasn't impounded. He wasn't even fined. Instead, he was allowed to call a friend, who came to pick him up and take him home. Atkins was arrested hours later after a domestic dispute with his wife. He pled guilty to one count of "offensive touching."

All of that is bad enough. Stranger still is the fact that, months later, Mothers Against Drunk Driving has put out a press release expressing their full support for the Ocean City Police Department in declining to arrest Rep. Atkins. MADD says it entered the debate to express its full support for the arresting officer, who apparently has pleased the group by making hundreds of drunk driving arrests over the years (no word on how many of them were politicians).

Even worse, it appears that details of Atkins' traffic stop were kept secret until after last November's election. This article , dated October 29th, explains how Atkins went on a local radio talk show to explain the 911 call and arrest for the domestic dispute. Atkins apparently assured the listeners that "no alcohol" was invovled in the altercation with his wife.

I wonder how many other people who blow .14 in a roadside breath test, go home and "offensively touch" their wives, then publicly lie about it get such staunch public support from MADD?

I also wonder if it has anything to do with Atkins' seat on the Delaware legislature's public safety committee, or his past votes on MADD-favored DWI issues.

As for Atkins, after public pressure, he has finally asked the legislature's ethics committee to look into his actions on the night of the 29th.

Hat tip: Lawrence Taylor .