Drinking and Driving Cover Up Leads to Charges
Most police officers take their responsibility to get intoxicated drivers off the road very seriously, but on some occasions, a law enforcement officer may be tempted to turn a blind eye to someone’s Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offense. When higher-ups within law enforcement discover this has occurred, the officers involved may find themselves having some legal troubles of their own. A recent report from Los Angeles, California has seen two officers dealing with this exact situation.
The two officers involved in the case have been accused by the LA County District Attorney’s office of filing a false report and also of conspiracy to commit an act harmful to public safety. The incident at hand occurred two years prior – late in October, a vehicle driven by an unidentified driver hit two parked cars on a neighborhood street late in the evening. When the driver attempted to flee, residents in the neighborhood, who were woken up by the accident, took off after the suspect.
One resident, who held the driver until law enforcement arrived, observed and reported that the individual was very drunk. When the two officers in question arrived at the scene, they put the driver in the back of their police cruiser and held him there for a period of 90 minutes. The case against the officers stated the two officers drove the suspect home and told him to go to sleep. The city prosecutors, who had reviewed the case at the time of the incident, declined to file charges.
The two officers involved in this case have denied the charges filed against them. The attorney for one of the officers involved has stated the officer did not take the suspect home and instead herself and her fellow officer followed the standard protocol for a hit and run type incident. The same attorney has also questioned why it had taken a period of two years for the LA County District Attorney to file charges against the two officers for this incident.
The unnamed driver in the incident could have faced some serious charges and penalties for a misdemeanor hit and run. The state of California called for maximum penalties in these cases, which includes $1,000 in fines, up to six months in jail, court costs, and restitution for the individual who owned the property the suspect had damaged. The penalties for DUI may apply in these cases as well.