Have you ever seen someone driving under the influence and wished you could arrest him or her for drunk driving? I mean, only cops can arrest a drunk driver, right?
A Tennessee court of appeals has recently upheld the DUI conviction of a man arrested by a police officer outside of his jurisdiction — on the grounds that the cop was acting as a private citizen.
Tennessee Court Highlights Ability of Private Citizen to Conduct Traffic Stops
To keep a convicted drunk driver from going free, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday decided to emphasize the private citizen’s right to pull over other motorists, even for minor traffic infractions.
"As a private citizen, Officer Croce was authorized to stop and arrest defendant for these traffic violations." Judge Timothy L. Easter wrote for the unanimous panel. "Officer Croce’s subjective belief that he was acting as a police officer in Sevierville rather than as a private citizen is immaterial."…
Was the court just stretching it to uphold the conviction? Or can anyone now arrest anyone else for DUI in Tennessee…or in your state? And would the police book a person arrested for DUI by a private citizen? Would the prosecutor file charges? Would a jury convict?
Would this appellate court have upheld the conviction if the arresting person had been a private citizen rather than an out-of-his-jurisdiction cop?
(Thanks to Joe)