We as a society give police officers a certain amount of authority to enforce the laws of our land, so it is shocking and a bit disturbing when law enforcement officials are found to be driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). What is even more shocking is how much they themselves are not punished for their actions.
The Gothamist reports that since 1999, 55 New York Police Department (NYPD) officers who were charged with drunk-driving where able to plead down to non felony charges, with just about every single one keeping his or her job in the process.
Is this right?
With knowing all the facts of the case, our San Diego car accident attorneys don’t like the message that the NYPD is sending to potential drunk drivers. The men and women who wear the badges in our neighborhoods are employed to prevent DUI accidents not cause them! These 55 police officers put people in danger because they were intoxicated behind the wheel — a direct violation of the primary job of an officer.
The official stance of the NYPD is that any officer can lose their job when they are found to be someone “who causes serious physical injury to another person while operating a motor vehicle and is determined to be unfit for duty due to the consumption of alcohol.” So why isn’t this code being followed more strictly? Serious Accidents reported that several NYPD officers have been in drunk-driving accidents, including Andrew Kelly, who reportedly hit and killed a pedestrian while driving drunk and refused to take a Breathalyzer test unit he was sober.
How are these cops able to avoid their DUI punishments that everyone else must face?
According to what we’ve read, felony convictions call of an automatic termination, but misdemeanors do not carry that same weight. Recklessly driving a car while impaired — as opposed to driving under the influence — only means a suspension, vacation day deduction, and counseling for alcohol abuse with probation.
It just doesn’t make sense how the same people that are charged with enforcing the law also get to break it and not face the consequences. Our car accident lawyers hope that these reports are not true because it would be a black-eye to the famous NYPD.
If you or a loved one were injured in an automobile accident you didn’t cause, then we urge you to contact our bilingual offices as soon as possible at 1-858-551-2090 or please click here for a FREE consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in San Diego.