Archive for July, 2008

The Great Cookie Caper

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

I posted a few days ago about a typical "rush to judgment" in today's hysterical drunk driving environment (Anatomy of a Lynching).  Here, the latest example – complete with initial disavowals by MADD, later reluctantly withdrawn:

Man Accused of Taking Drug-Laced Cookies to Cops

Fort Worth, TX.  AP, July 8 -  A man accused of delivering baskets of drug-laced cookies to as many as a dozen police departments, causing several officers to become sick, was arrested Tuesday.

Christian V. Phillips, 18, of Watauga, was arrested Tuesday morning after allegedly taking cookies to the Lake Worth police station, where officers had been tipped off that someone was falsely claiming to deliver treats on behalf of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said Lake Worth Police Chief Brett McGuire.

"Our officers took a good whiff and thought they smelled like marijuana," McGuire said, adding that preliminary tests instead detected traces of LSD…

In nearby Fort Worth, at least three officers got sick after eating some cookies and candy after a basket was delivered to that police station Monday night, authorities said.

Lake Worth investigators found that Phillips had a list of about two dozen North Texas departments, with 13 checked off.

Blue Mound police tipped off Lake Worth after receiving a call from MADD that no one was delivering cookies on its behalf.

For the next few days a lynch-mob mentality permeated the media:

Man Accused of Delivering Drug-Laced Cookies

to Police Stations Across Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas, TX.  July 10 -  Police officers in Blue Mound didn't think much of the cookies dropped off at their station Monday night – until they got a whiff of them.

Overpowering the chocolate chips was the pungent smell of marijuana, police said.

"It reeked of it," said Lt. Thomas Cain, a Blue Mound police spokesman. "It wasn't hard to tell. Anyone that's been around marijuana before would have known".

The next day:

"Tainted" Cop Cookies Deemed Safe

Lake Worth, TX.  AP, July 11 -  A teenager jailed on accusations that he delivered drug-laced cookies to a dozen police stations was released Thursday after tests showed no drugs in goodies taken to two departments.

Blue Mound and Lake Worth police said tests by the Tarrant County medical examiner showed there were no controlled substances in cookies delivered this week by Christian V. Phillips, 18, who had been jailed in Lake Worth on $75,000 bond on a charge of tampering with a consumer product.

Phillips walked quickly out of the jail without commenting while accompanied by his father, who then drove away with his son.

Phillips' attorney said his client was performing community-service work when he delivered goodies for Mothers Against Drunk Driving to about a dozen stations in the past couple of weeks. Only two stations had any treats left over to be tested for drugs.

"I'm really upset that this thing has gotten to this point, that this kid has gotten convicted in the media before any evidence was collected," said the attorney, L. Patrick Davis.


More News from the Front…

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Apparently, the MADDness isn’t limited to the U.S….

Richmond Hill Man Charged with Drunk Driving on Lawn Mower

Toronto, Canada.  July 11  -  A Richmond Hill man faces a drunk driving charge after York Regional Police caught him riding a lawn mower on the sidewalk Sunday allegedly drinking a beer…

Police took the opportunity to remind residents any motorized vehicle including ATVs, scooters and jet skis are all subject to the impaired driving provisions in the Criminal Code.


The DUI Double Standard

Monday, 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?”


0.00% = DUI Prosecution

Friday, July 4th, 2008

According to police, prosecutors and MADD those breathalyzers are deadly accurate…unless it contradicts a cop’s opinion.

Sober, and Now Outraged as Well

DUI Case Was Dropped, But Driver Wants to Sue

Bredenton, FL.  July 3  -  If there is a lucky four-digit lottery number in DUI cases, it is this: a 0.000 on the blood-alcohol breath test.

 Gary Shuchat hit quadruple zeros, but that was not enough to win his freedom after a traffic stop in May.

A Manatee County sheriff’s deputy said Shuchat failed field sobriety tests, even though Shuchat showed no obvious signs of impairment. He was not slurring words. His eyes were fine. There was no odor of alcohol.

Authorities got a urine sample from Shuchat, which came back clean a few weeks ago. No drugs. No alcohol. A state prosecutor dropped the case…

Shuchat, 54, an executive at a lumber company in Canada, will not let his arrest slide as a mere inconvenience or a story to tell about American police. He wants to sue the Sheriff’s Office, calling his arrest in Bradenton a terrifying experience…

"This was the most degrading and dehumanizing thing I have ever been through," Shuchat said. "This was crazy. I was not drunk."

Apparently, Canadians don’t fully appreciate our uniquely American "War on Drunk Driving".

(See Field Sobriety Tests: Designed for Failure? and DUI Eye Test a Fraud?)

(Thanks to David Baker)


Another Day on the Frontlines

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

I think the following typical news story speaks for itself:

DUI Checkpoint Nets 2 Citations, No Arrests Made

Costa Mesa, CA.  June 27  -  The Costa Mesa police ran a sobriety checkpoint Thursday at Santa Ana Avenue and 18th Street, citing two drivers and impounding two vehicles.

One driver was cited for driving on a suspended license. The other was cited for having vehicle registration that had expired more than six months ago.

During the process, 469 vehicles passed through and 410 drivers were screened. Twelve drivers were investigated for driving under the influence, but no arrests were made.

The Costa Mesa Police Department will join forces with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to conduct another checkpoint Aug. 15 at Wilson Street and Pomona Avenue. Patrolling officers will be set up on surrounding streets to stop impaired drivers from avoiding the sobriety screening.

The California Office of Traffic Safety funds the program through a grant as part of a national enforcement campaign.

See: Are DUI Roadblocks Effective?, Do DUI Roadblocks Work (Part II), DUI Sobriety Checkpoints for Fun and Profit, DUI Sobriety Checkpoints: Unconstitutional? and Police using DUI Roadblocks Illegally.