Alcohol

He Was Rushing Eliot Spitzer to a Meeting at the Mayflower

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Alexandria, Virginia, Police Chief David P. Baker was arrested on Saturday night for driving under the influence after a two-car crash that sent him and the other driver to the hospital. The Washington Times describes the possible consequences:

According to Arlington County police, Chief Baker, who has held his post for three years and served almost 20 years in the department, took a Breathalyzer test that registered his blood alcohol content (BAC) at .19, more than twice Virginia's legal limit of .08.

The chief faces serious consequences under Virginia's tough drunken-driving laws, including up to 12 months in jail, a one-year suspension of his driver's license and mandatory alcohol safety classes….

Because Chief Baker is accused of blowing above .15 BAC—Virginia's threshold for a series of stiffer penalties—any guilty verdict will require him to serve five days in jail, pay a $250 fine and lose his license for 12 months…

The city of Alexandria could be sued by the other vehicle's driver for damages if it is determined that Chief Baker was using the government-issued car in the crash on official business…

If the results of the Breathalyzer test hold up in court, Chief Baker will have to attend mandatory Alcohol Safety Action Program classes to determine whether he has a pattern of drinking excessively.

Even after a convicted Chief Baker would become eligible to have his license restored, the license would have as a condition for a further six months that he drive only vehicles equipped with ignition-interlock devices. These electronic gadgets prevent the car from being started unless the driver blows into a tube that determines whether he or she is legally intoxicated.

And the payoff you were waiting for:

Chief Baker coordinated a sobriety checkpoint for Alexandria in June, and alerted drivers in a press release about the stiff penalties faced for being charged with driving under the influence.

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  1. Seems reasonable when you think about it.

    RT
    http://www.privacy-tools.tk

  2. Reason needs online gambling pools for shit like this.

    I’ll take gets off with no punishment and retains job for $50.

  3. Somehow they misplaced his breathalyzer results.

  4. The spambot thought about it?!

  5. If you think cops driving drunk is news, then you really need to hang out with more cops. Sometimes I think the ability to do so with out worrying about DUIs is one of their recruiting tools.

  6. Who administered that Breathalyzer? Didn’t they realize he’s a cop.

    Laws are for little people.

  7. Somehow they misplaced his breathalyzer results.

    Or the arresting officer won’t be able to make the court date due to being required to work extra shifts.

  8. Who administered that Breathalyzer? Didn’t they realize he’s a cop.

    Maybe his FOP sticker was damaged in the crash.

  9. Before we get too cynical, his deputy has been made the Acting Chief for the nonce.

    Perhaps this will be taken seriously.

    ::rimshot::

    I’ll be here are week.

  10. I wonder if being the Chief will work against him. When Joe Beat-cop gets busted, the department might be able to bury the details – but when the Chief gets caught, the story inevitably ends up in all the papers.

  11. Words you never see in articles such as this:

    less than twice Virginia’s legal limit of .08.

  12. Somehow they misplaced his breathalyzer results.

    No, the problem will be that the person who took the breathalyzer and analyzed the results unfortunately won’t be able to make it to court, since the Police Chief has ordered them to take a long paid vacation, so it’ll get dismissed under Melendez-Diaz’s new Confrontation Clause holding.

    Seriously, dismissals been happening across Virginia, not that I mind too much.

  13. If the results of the Breathalyzer test hold up in court, Chief Baker will have to attend mandatory Alcohol Safety Action Program classes to determine whether he has a pattern of drinking excessively.

    And that’s a mighty big if. I’m sure they will find some reason to get the Breathalyzer tossed.

    Why did he blow at all?

  14. I wonder what kind of promotion they’ll give him.

  15. Why did he take the test? That’s really strange.

  16. Why did he blow at all?

    Being drunk can impare your judgment, I’ve heard.

  17. Why did he blow at all?

    Bragging rights. It’s gonna make a hell of a story one day.

    Cop #1: Last year, I shot a poodle and Internal Affairs ruled that I acted appropriately.

    Cop #2: Shit, that’s nothing. The other day I tased a pregnant woman during a traffic stop. She had gone into labor, but I told IAD that at the time, I thought she was on PCP. They bought it.

    Chief Baker: You kids these days… hell, I got pulled over with a .19 blood alcohol level. Yeah, I lost my job for awhile, but once Internal Affairs realized that the high alcohol content in my blood was due to an undercover operation geared to root out an Al Qaeda-funded kiddy porn ring, I was reinstated.

    Cop #1: You’re so full of shit, chief.

    Chief Baker: Hey! The breathalyzer doesn’t lie, son.

  18. Why did he blow at all?

    Being drunk can impare your judgment, I’ve heard.

    I’ve never been unaware of the fact that I shouldn’t blow if I get pulled over, and that should be doubly true for a career cop.

    Regardless, yes, this man did terrible things and committed crimes against liberty, but that does not mean he should be ensnared by capricious laws anymore than anyone else.

  19. Regardless, yes, this man did terrible things and committed crimes against liberty, but that does not mean he should be ensnared by capricious laws anymore than anyone else.

    Says you.

    His business is capricious laws. Sauce for the goose and all that.

  20. I say arrest him for not properly handling a motor vehicle. Who cares what the reason was?

    I don’t care if he was drunk, high, stupid, or just stupid pig.

  21. His business is capricious laws. Sauce for the goose and all that.

    Figured I would get this kind of unthinking response. So I suppose that you’re going to just eschew due process and justice for anybody you deem to be the enemy, then?

    Good luck in your banana republic.

  22. JB – all I saw was involvement of the accident. It’s the presumption that anyone drinking must have been responsible for that accident that allows the DUI Jihad to continue. For all we know, the other idiot was responsible.

  23. whoops, the report lists him “at-fault” – of course, you never know if that’s factual or if that arises out of the prejudice of “he’s a ZOMG DRUNKEN DRIVER!!!”

  24. His business is capricious laws. Sauce for the goose and all that.

    Figured I would get this kind of unthinking response. So I suppose that you’re going to just eschew due process and justice for anybody you deem to be the enemy, then?

    Good luck in your banana republic.

    All I demand is that he get in the Due Process queue at the back.

    Otherwise it is pure privilege: “private law”. Which I always thought was one way to spot a banana republic.

  25. I’m glad he got popped and i hope he gets convicted. Driving with .19 BAC is unconcionable and rightfully a crime.

    I’m not saying .08 should be a crime, nor am i saying that the punishmemt in Virginia fits the crime. I’m saying that driving a motor vehicle on public roads with a .19 BAC should be illegal and the chief should be punished for it. I hope he loses his damned job over it.

    For everyone more libertarian than I, I’ve already reversed engineered the decoder ring, you can have it. 😉

  26. whoops, the report lists him “at-fault” – of course, you never know if that’s factual or if that arises out of the prejudice of “he’s a ZOMG DRUNKEN DRIVER!!!”

    Right, the guy he hit lied, and the breathalyzer test was a malfunction of the test. Sounds good to me.

  27. John-David: didn’t say that either way. Just that the prejudicial effect is strong in these things. And did you see that the damage to each car was 900 bucks? That’s a fender-bender at most.

  28. Ok, let’s give him 90 days for the DUI, a year with a suspended license, and 20 to life for aggravated hypocrisy.

    -jcr

  29. David P. Baker was arrested on Saturday night for driving under the influence after a two-car crash that sent him and the other driver to the hospital.

    I always parse these sentences the funny way at first. Come on, how many of you made the same mistake for at least a few secs.? Jacob, the intentional humor is funny enough, so please be more careful about the unintentional.

  30. Yeah, and we were guaranteed Paris Hilton would have to serve her full sentence too. I will be absolutely shocked if this fucking clown were not released a half hour later owing to issues of “over-crowding”.

    “Why did he take the test? That’s really strange.”

    I don’t know about the laws of the state of Virginia, but I do know that a good many states automatically suspend your license and arrest you if you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test.

  31. B – I don’t know about the automatic arrest, but the “automatic” suspension (for a year, usually) is vastly preferable to a DUI, which usually carries an 18-24 month suspension and massive fines. And you cannot (in all states, so far as I know) force a blood sample from people who have no other DUIs on record.

    When in doubt, DO NOT BLOW!!!.

  32. When in doubt, DO NOT BLOW!!!.

    That’s what she said.

  33. Art – better not be 😛

  34. So what’s your point?

    Drunk driving (at .19 BAC!) is stupid? (No shit!)
    Getting in a wreck while drunk will land you in jail? (No shit!)

    While it’s a nice karmic balance, this is pretty much a non-story, unless the guy gets off for being a policeman.

  35. TAO: And you cannot (in all states, so far as I know) force a blood sample from people who have no other DUIs on record.

    That has changed in Texas. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/metro/6548493.html (For some reason, I keep SugarFreeing the link when I try to embed it)

    SB 328, which was passed near unanimously and signed into law, allows medical personnel to draw blood involuntarily without a court order or warrant if:

    Someone died or is expected to, or

    Someone other than the suspect suffers bodily injury and is transported to a medical facility for treatment, or

    Repeat DWI offender, or

    One of the passengers was a kid under 15.

    The bill is, of course, named after a 13 year old white girl who was run over by a drunk driver as she exited her school bus. Commentary at the local newspaper’s web site seems to run about 60/40 against.

  36. I don’t know how you libertarians expect the cops to be able to do their jobs. If they can’t get into a drunken crash and suffer no consequences, you will all be raped and eaten by the slavering gangs that just pray for the the day they will be safe from being run over by drunk cops in the middle of the night.

    There’s a difference between libertarianism and anarchism, you know.

  37. There’s a difference between libertarianism and anarchism, you know.

    Yes. The anarchists are better organized.

  38. that does not mean he should be ensnared by capricious laws anymore than anyone else.

    Good grief.

  39. TAO-

    It’s the law in Ohio also

  40. I always wonder about refusing the breathalyzer (they are very inaccurate) and insisting on a blood test.

    If you aren’t that sauced the time it takes to get you to somewhere for the blood-test might just be enough to lower your BAC.

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