Humans are social beings and drinking is a social activity. Most people who consume alcohol can probably remember a time when they recognized that they should not get behind the wheel and either they or a friend found them a ride home. Though DUI charges and other alcohol-related driving charges are serious, anyone with a license and who ever chooses to drink can find himself facing the flashing lights of a police car as a result of his actions.
A Wisconsin police officer recently learned that, in fact, anyone can be arrested on drunk driving charges. The officer was arrested for allegedly operating his vehicle while intoxicated and committing a hit-and-run on a parked vehicle. He was located at his home and was found to have a .14 blood alcohol content before being taken into custody. Though he was not on duty at the time of the accident, the officer has been placed on paid suspension by his department.
The Wisconsin State Patrol and not the Wisconsin Dells Police Department handled the matter to avoid any conflicts between the department and the charges against one of its officers. It has not been reported if the officer has had any previous drunk driving charges brought against him, but it is likely that in addition to his suspension he may face other potential consequences.
Individuals who are convicted of drunk driving can face fines, jail time, suspended licenses and other penalties depending on the number of prior convictions they hold and the severity of the crimes with which they are charged. It is possible that the officer's fitness to serve as a member of law enforcement will be evaluated which could threaten his livelihood.
Though his charges are still pending, this officer's arrest is a good reminder to all Wisconsin drivers that no one is above the law when it comes to drunk driving charges. While a good drunk driving defense can ameliorate some of the sanctions a court can hit a driver with when convicted, drivers who wish to avoid drunk driving charges should exercise responsibility when consuming alcohol.
Source: Madison.com, "Wisconsin Dells officer arrested for alleged drunk driving, hit and run," Jason Cuevas, July 24, 2013