Legislators Vote Themselves Exempt From DUI Arrest

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on March 6th, 2009

We all know there's a double standard in MADD's "War on Drunk Driving" when it comes to cops, prosecutors and judges.  See, for example, my post "Do As I Say, Not As I Do".   But it's always been an under-the-table policy — not an actual law.  Unless, of course, it's to benefit a politician…

From the Denver Police Department Operations Manual:

205.07.  Violations by Colorado Legislators.

 (1)   Pursuant to Article 5, section 16 of the Colorado Constitution, no member of the Colorado General Assembly may be arrested while in route to or from legislative sessions, except for treason or felony violations..

(4)  In the absence of felony violations, should an officer have reason to believe a legislator is driving under the influence, the officer may cite for a violation which caused an accident or was the reason for a traffic stop.  For the safety and welfare of the public and the legislator, the officer will arrange for other transportation for the legislator and his/her vehicle will be parked and locked 

So….It's ok for a politician to drive falling-down drunk on his way to work or back home.  In fact, he's given a free ride home — or to the capitol to cast an intoxicated vote.

Who makes these crazy laws?  Oh, right…the same politicians who are falling over each other to pass tougher drunk driving laws.

  • David W

    Nah, no double standard here..Got to protect our thinkers that have played part in our successful economic times..


  • RIDL_Prez

    OMG! This is so disgusting I hardly know what to say. Why not pass this same law for everyone caught driving under the influence? If it’s good enough for them it’s good enough for everyone. Oh that’s right. All that MONEY would be lost.

  • RichardAlan

    This is an “Act of Intrinsic Fraud” against every free American in this country. These law makers are the very criminals who seek to steal our money, our property, and our freedom based on “Fantasy Make Believe”, .

    What is MADD’s response to this tyranny against us?

  • Justin

    That is so funny.

  • David W

    Part 3 says if they get into an accident resulting in felony injury, that they will be arrested. So I imagine MADD would say as long as no one gets hurt, its ok to have this class of drunk drivers on the highway as they have important legislative business to attend to. What else could they say? They damn sure aren’t going to upset their main source of sizable monies. And another perfect example of us looking like idiots in the eyes of the world. Claim an impatial system,, “except!”

  • standup

    They could say, “They MIGHT have hurt somebody”. They’ve said it before, that’s for sure. We should push them for an answer…

  • La Malaise

    Ok, it seems to be lawmakers treating themselves preferentially. But there is actually a reason for it.

    Imagine you are trying to get a bill passed, and you know if two legislators don’t show up for the vote, your bill can pass. You have a good friend in the police department, and so you get him to “arrest” two legislators on the way to the vote under suspicion of DUI. Your bill passes, when it wouldn’t have otherwise.

    Or you see two legislators drunk at the vote. You tell them that if they try to leave the assembly after voting against the bill, your friend will have them arrested. But if they vote for your bill, they will look the other way.

    The idea is to remove potential for shenanigans to corrupt or affect a vote, either by delaying a member’s arrival, or by intimidation before a vote. It’s got to be pretty serious to stop a legislator from showing up for a vote.

    Note that the Op Manual says the police should get the drunk off the road and get him to the legislature or home. A reasonable balance of the issues at hand.

    And by the way, the title to this post is misleading. The legislature did not vote themselves exempt. It’s in the Colorado Constitution, which requires citizens to vote on modifications. The citizens voted this in.

  • RichardAlan

    Fraud is fraud no matter how you slice it.