Do the law enforcement members receive special treatment from their coworkers when they themselves break the law? What about their children or relatives? Some Georgia police officers are claiming that this is exactly what happened yesterday in Toccoa, Georgia, where a police chief’s daughter failed on on-site breathalyzer exam yet was not charged with a drunk driving.
Officers first received a 911 call from a local McDonald’s, reporting that a drunken passenger was harassing other customers in the restaurant’s drive-through. The police caught up with the car in question, pulled the vehicle over, and then learned the identity of the driver and her relation to the police chief.
The woman admitted that she had been drinking earlier that night, but assured the officer that several hours had passed since her last alcoholic beverage. However, during a breathalyzer exam, she proceeded to blow a 0.083-just barely over the legal limit.
According to the law, this is grounds for arrest. However, the officer on the scene reported to dispatch that he was going to allow the driver to call for a ride. In the wake of the incident, other officers are alleging that the chief’s daughter clearly received special treatment, and that any other citizen would be facing DUI charges. The local district attorney agrees with this assessment, stating he considers this a prosecutable DUI case.
The incident occurred in a neighboring county, outside of the police chief in question’s jurisdiction. When questioned about the case, the chief stated that if his daughter had been within city limits, she would have been arrested.
Currently, the daughter faces none of the consequences that typically result from failing a breath test, such as fines or jail time. Members of the local police force continue to investigate the issue, including how the responding officer could have handled the situation differently.
Source: WSBTV.com, “Chief’s Daughter Fails Breath Test, But No Arrest,” 3 February 2011.