Archive for October 19th, 2005

The Road to Prohibition – Part 3

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

The recent reaction to the flap about Washington D.C.’s "zero tolerance" laws has prompted a flurry of public protest, political back-pedaling — and the predictably rigid police response:


Council Hastens To Revise DUI Law

Washington Post, October 15   D.C. Council members, swamped with irate calls and threats to boycott D.C. bars and restaurants, introduced emergency legislation yesterday that would override the police department’s controversial and little-known zero-tolerance policy for drinking and driving.

Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who represents Georgetown, said he has been bombarded with calls from restaurants, bars and constituents asking, "What kind of lunacy is this?"

  
D.C. Chief Defends Officers’ Judgments in DUI Arrests

Washington Post, October 14   D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey yesterday defended officers who arrest drivers with blood alcohol levels below the legal limit, and amid growing criticism of the department’s "zero tolerance" policy, he insisted that officers continue to be able to use their discretion.

One officer who has made such arrests, Dennis Fair, said D.C. law gave him the authority to arrest drivers with as little as a .01 blood alcohol level. "If you get behind the wheel of a car with any measurable amount of alcohol, you will be dealt with in D.C," Fair said in an interview. "We have zero tolerance."…

Ramsey said he does not use the term "zero tolerance."


After 35 years of prosecuting and defending, I still have difficulty understanding the law enforcement mentality. 

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