Policy

Top DWI Cop Busted for False Arrests

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A MADD gold-star winner gets caught cheating:

In one year, Brock arrested 58 people whose blood-alcohol content was below 0.08, the level at which state law presumes a driver is impaired, an internal affairs audit showed.

"I don't prescribe to the theory that somehow you have to be 0.08 to be drunk or impaired, " Brock, 38, told investigators.

A driver may be charged with DUI if the blood-alcohol level is between 0.05 and 0.08 percent, but there must be other evidence of impairment, such as a swerving vehicle.

In 43 of those 58 cases, motorists demonstrated no visible impairment behind the wheel, according to an internal affairs report made public Thursday. In 41 arrests, Brock also failed to make a case with urine samples, the report states.

Repeatedly, investigators found Brock reported failures in field sobriety tests when his patrol car video camera documented the opposite. He wrote, for instance, that a driver on Oct. 25, 2005, lost balance while turning. The video of the encounter showed that wasn't the case. The driver blew a 0.01 in the breath test but was arrested anyway.

He said drivers incorrectly recited the alphabet, used arms for balance and slurred speech – when the video showed correct alphabets, perfect balance and clear speech.

He's also not the sharpest tool in the shed:

He failed to activate his cruiser's audio and video equipment in 40 percent of his stops, instead relying on his "wrought memory" to recall important arrest details, the audit showed.

So what's MADD's reaction?

"We always felt he was a good officer, " said Becky Gage, 55, the victim advocate for Hillsborough's MADD chapter. "As long as officers are within the scope of the law, then we support their efforts to remove impaired drivers."

Not a hint of regret, eh? This is a little odd, too:

He told investigators that given the chance, he would conduct his DUI stops the same way.

Said Brock: "I mean, perfect world, we need more deputies and fewer people."

So what happens to all of those people who now have a record, paid thousands of dollars, sat through tedious alcoholism group sessions, and suffered the personal and professional repercussions of a false DUI arrest? And how many other cops are fudging the numbers due to incentive systems that reward cops who make lots of arrests?

Thanks to Mark Hemingway for the tip.