The DUI Double Standard

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on July 7th, 2008

So what happens when a cop drives drunk?

Ex-Cop Charged with DUI

San 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?”


    see, if she had a mandatory alcohol interlock on the car she either could not be charged with dui, or not have driven.

    but instead we have messes like this going on.

  • RichardAlan

    How can anyone be charged with a DUI based on a conversation? without breath blood or any evidence?

    If the officer admits to it, will she then admit to how many drinks she had and will the D.A. do the retrograde theory on her.

    What if she only had two drinks, and the retrograde theory shows she was not drunk at the time.

    And what will become of the players in this sordid cop affair? will they be prosecuted for obstruction in a dui case?

    News at 11……..

  • standup

    Jim, What color is the sky in yiur world ?
    Thanks to your Goombahs from MADD, one need not even be in their car, let alone driving it, to get a DUI these days.
    Read this again and again till it sinks in:


    I have no idea what you are talking about. i’m not from madd. madd isnt even in nj at all i dont think.
    it just have read everying in all the articles and came to the conclusion taxpayers would save billions of dollars alone if a mandatory alcphol interlock were on all vehicles.
    litigation costs alone for the state would be ZERO

  • mcguirebruce

    Unfortunately this officer has a way out. She will never be convicted of this crime because of the wat it was handled. The prosecutor will have to prove without a reasonable dought and that can not and will not happen without evidence. She has been saved by her buddies. She can be charged but they will not stick without evidence.

  • koivisto

    I can understand cops helping cops, just as nazis helped one another. Sig Heil! We have to understand right is right, and wrong is wrong, no matter who is involved. I say tape a suspect and see if it becomes a conviction. If not then false arrest charges applies. Justice should not be blind.

  • n6rky

    Dear Lawrence Taylor:

    One thing which seems to be occuring at an alarming rate is how long of a duration of time before district attorneys file criminal complaints for D.U.I. cases. After appearing at Orange County Court (myself), I found that I was not on the docket on the date I was ordered to be there.

    After going to the criminal operations department, I was instructed to go to the district attorney’s office. It was there that I learned that they had not filed and that my case was under review.

    Finding this to be strange, I looked around the Internet and found this to be a common practice in Ventura County. One incident included a woman from Huntington Beach who was filed on 4 days before the statute of limitations had expired.

    Is this going to become standard operating procedure here in Orange County? What about our rights for a speedy trial? Or… is that another constitutional right going down the drain as well?