Speed Reads

The police state

Police let off easy for drunk driving as 'professional courtesy'

Most drunk drivers are met with harsh penalties for their actions, but an investigation by the Boston Globe that looked specifically at cops in Massachusetts found that police officers who are caught driving drunk while off-duty frequently receive special lenience. In one case the Globe reported, an officer was reassigned to administrative duty after he lost his license for refusing a breathalyzer test. He continued collecting his salary of $130,000 per year, was acquitted on legal technicalities, and soon went back to patrol work.

It is difficult to get statistical context for this story, because little is available in the way of comprehensive data. However, a 2008 commission in Massachusetts found unanimous agreement among police officers that "the routine and customary practice when a [traffic] stop is made on a fellow police officer, is to show professional courtesy and not call in the stop."