Saturday, June 18, 2005

Another example of favoritism, when it comes to police officers dealing with one of their own

An Austin police sergeant was cited for public intoxication early Wednesday after Cedar Park police found him asleep in his truck at a post office parking lot, said Capt. Jeff Hayes, Cedar Park police spokesman.
Daniel Ray Armstrong, 40, faces a $500 fine for the Class C misdemeanor and possible disciplinary action.

"The department has been notified about the incident, and we are looking into the circumstances surrounding it," Austin police spokesman Kevin Buchman said. "We will take appropriate action."

According to a police report, Armstrong smelled of alcohol and had an open six-pack of beer in the passenger seat when officer Chris Joost approached his green Ford F-150 truck around 4:30 a.m.

The truck was parked at the post office on 500 E. Whitestone Blvd. with the engine running, according to the report.

Joost noticed an Austin police uniform shirt in the truck and called his Cedar Park supervisor, according to the report. Joost woke Armstrong, who was incoherent and did not know where he was, according to the report.

Armstrong's speech was slurred, and his eyes were watery and bloodshot, according to the report.

When Joost asked how much he had had to drink, Armstrong replied "Not enough," according to the report.

Joost called Armstrong's wife, who came and drove him home. Armstrong cooperated with Joost, according to the report, and Armstrong said he had "put himself in this situation."

Hayes said officers generally try to find a sober adult to take care of someone who has been cited for public intoxication. If no one is available, or if the suspect is uncooperative, police will make an arrest.

Policy is more strict when it comes to drunken driving, which is a more serious offense, Hayes said.

(I guess this only applies to folks that are not police officers)

Armstrong has been at the Austin Police Department since 1994 and is a patrol sergeant for the northwest area command.

I have had plenty of clients that have been arrested for DWI by the Austin Police Department when found asleep behind the wheel. Even though the car is stopped, since the engine was running, the prosecutors always argue that the running engine is enough to satisfy the “operating” element of the statute….and the Judges always seem to buy this argument.

I hope you see that this is just another example of a double standard that police officers use when dealing with one of their own.

I assure you that if this person had not been a police officer, he would have gone straight to jail. His wife would not have been called.

Full Story
If you have been arrested for DWI in Austin, Travis County, Williamson County, Bastrop County or Hays County, Click here and see how I can help you.