Daily Archives: January 8, 2012
I’ve mentioned in the past that police agencies across the country use DUI arrest quotas — and almost uniformly deny the practice. See, for example, DUI Quotas, "Yes, We Have No DUI Quotas" and "Inside Edition" Documents DUI Quotas Across U.S..
The latest example of this supposedly non-existent practice:
Drunk-Driving Quota Case May Lead to Similar Efforts Elsewhere
Baltimore, MD. Jan. 6 – Even as prosecutors weigh an appeal of a Howard County judge’s decision to throw out drunken-driving charges and rule that they were tied to illegal citation quotas, defense lawyers are considering whether the same defense might apply to past or current cases.
District Court Judge Sue-Ellen Hantman’s ruling in a case against an Ellicott City woman has raised questions on both sides — as well as eyebrows around the legal community…
Hantman said the charges against Katie Majorie Quackenbush, 22, were linked to an illegal quota — a ruling based on a memorandum that police have said was intended to describe the requirements of a federal grant that paid overtime for officers to target drunken and aggressive drivers through "saturation patrols."
"I find any evidence in this case to be inadmissible," she said, according to a recording of her Thursday ruling, and that ended the prosecution. Nevertheless, the judge indicated that "I don’t think saturation patrols are in and of themselves illegal, merely the quotas."…
The police chief said a memo to officers that called for two to four citations per hour contained, “in retrospect, not the best wording,” and conceded that he “could see how it could be misinterpreted.” He said the department does not use quotas and had revised the memo.
The memo also told the officers on the drunken-driving and aggressive-driving saturation patrols that they usually produce “at or above these amounts.”
The federal funds come from the National Traffic Safety Administration to the state, according to Buel Young, a spokesman for the state Motor Vehicle Administration. Jurisdictions can apply for them.
So the police chief insists that "the department does not use quotas"…and that the memo was just "perhaps not the best wording"? Hmmmm…..it’s hard to see how "it could be misinterpreted": the departmental order that cops have to produce "two to four citations per hour" sounds pretty clear to me.
Interesting that the federal grant appears to have required police agencies to use quotas….