7/22/2006Florida: Drunk Cops Refuse Sobriety Tests
A number of Florida police officers accused of drunk driving have refused to take sobriety tests.
An off-duty Port Orange, Florida police officer crashed his car on July 14 doing $10,000 in damage and injuring a passenger. Although police on the scene said Officer David Chapman, the driver, appeared impaired by alcohol, Chapman refused both the standard sobriety tests and a breathalyzer.
Chapman was suspended from the force and charged with DUI causing personal injury and driving without a license. He was released on $2000 bail and his license is suspended for a year pending appeal.
Florida police frequently refuse to take the same sobriety tests they perform on the public. In 2002, the police chief for Ponce Inlet refused a breathalyzer and regained his driver's license within seven months. In 2003, a detective in Daytona Beach did the same and had her charge reduced to reckless driving.
"If you have been drinking, refusing the breathalyzer is the only way to go," attorney Brian Toung told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. "The police, or anybody who understands the system, knows they're better off without it."