Daily Archives: July 7, 2008
So what happens when a cop drives drunk?
Ex-Cop Charged with DUISTATE ATTORNEY GENERAL TOOK OVER CRASH CASESan Jose, CA. July 4 - More than three months after San Jose police failed to test a former cop for intoxication or cite her after a serious multi-car accident, the state attorney general has charged Sandra Woodall with felony drunken driving.
Woodall, 39, now an investigator with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, is expected in court Thursday.
The charge raises a larger and so far unanswered question: Did police officers at the scene of the March 25 nighttime collision intentionally do an incomplete job while trying to protect Woodall from criminal charges?
Soon after realizing one of their own was involved, both police and the district attorney’s office agreed to ask the state prosecutor to look into the case, realizing there was a potential conflict of interest.
And there were private worries by officials about whether Woodall was given favorable treatment by fellow cops.
Woodall’s husband, Jason, is a sergeant in the department; her father-in-law is Jack Woodall, a former lieutenant in the police department and also a district attorney’s investigator.
Officers did not conduct either a field sobriety test or take Woodall’s blood, although they had a statement from a witness who claimed to have overheard Woodall talking about drinking. In car-crash cases, it is common practice to ask for a blood sample if there is probable cause that the driver may be intoxicated…
The Escalade drove over the median and hit an oncoming 1995 Volkswagen Jetta. The Jetta hit a parked car and the Escalade ended up partially on the sidewalk. All three drivers – including Woodall – complained of minor injuries and were taken to a local hospital, police said.
The case might simply have disappeared had not an outraged victim called top police officials to complain that nothing was being done.
“Who will guard the guardians?”