Daily Archives: July 26, 2013
The ease with which police can stop, detain and arrest a citizen on suspicion of drunk driving should be cause for concern. The investigation up to the point of arrest and transport to the police station for breath testing is entirely subjective: absent any videotapes, there is no objective evidence to refute the officer's "observations" and "judgment".
This, of course, makes DUI an easy source of police abuse — as the following extreme example illustrates:
Woman Given Breathalyzer Tests 54 Times in a Year
Kidlington, England. July 18 — A British woman said police pulled her over and administered Breathalyzer tests 54 times in a single year before she filed complaints about officers.
Katie Bowman, 24, said Thames Valley Police pulled over on suspicion of drunken driving 54 times in a single year, despite the fact that she does not drink alcohol, The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.
Bowman said the police were retaliating for a complaint she filed. She did not say what the original complaint was about.
She said notes left on her file by police caused her to lose her job as a paramedic.
"It is absolutely a direct result [of the alleged police action]. That was what was put on my CRB [Criminal Records Bureau check] … that caused me to lose my job," she said.
The Thames Valley Police released a statement in response to Bowman's allegations.
"The need to retain the intelligence reports relating to Ms. Bowman was reviewed in 2012 [following which a number were removed] and again in 2013 following further requests made on behalf of Ms. Bowman," the statement said. "Ms. Bowman has made a number of complaints to Thames Valley Police, some of which were unsubstantiated and some resulted in disciplinary proceedings against officers. In one case Ms Bowman made a complaint against a number of officers, which she subsequently withdrew. Despite the fact she withdrew her complaint, Thames Valley Police continued with disciplinary proceedings against the officers."
"The complaints made specifically about harassment were unsubstantiated," the statement read.
Does anyone out there think this practice is limited to England?