Police Officers Drinking On Duty And The Legal Consequences

Employees coming to work after consuming a drink or two, or employees consuming alcohol while on duty and cases of employees quietly sneaking out of the office during breaks for a quick drink, are all things that we have heard off. But what happens if those who are meant to enforce the laws themselves are found drunk while on duty? Yes, we are talking about police officers here. Incidents of intoxication on duty among police officers have been on the rise in recent times.

We all know how tough the life of a police officer can be. With rising crime rates and the heightened security environment of today, they need to be ready to jump into action, almost round the clock. Theirs is a life that is therefore full of stress. Given the circumstances there have been cases when police officers have been caught with more than permissible levels of alcohol in their body, while on duty. Remember, while the rules may differ from state to state, generally the regulations governing what a person can do or cannot do while in uniform are strict, especially when it comes to drinking. Remember, police officers are seen as role models in communities, especially for children.

Role of video recordings

The increase in the number of mobile devices has had a direct impact on the increase in the number of cases of tipsy police officers in recent times. The omnipresent mobile camera has been instrumental in bringing forward several cases of police officers being drunk while on duty. Earlier on incidents such as a police officer being caught red-handed like this would not have been reported, basically for lack of solid evidence. However, now with such incidents being caught on tape, those in uniform have always become wary and are increasingly becoming careful to avoid being caught in such embarrassing situations.
According to the latest rules that are prevailing so long as someone is not interfering in a police officer’s work, it is perfectly legal to videotape any incident that is taking place in a public place. The police officer in question does not have any legal right to stop the witness from videotaping the incident, so long as the later keeps his distance from the happening.

Police Officers & DUI

There have also been instances of police officers being caught for DUI too. In such cases, the punishment for officers depends on many factors. First comes the severity of the offence. Was someone injured? How many vehicles were involved? All these questions are considered before deciding on the punishment for the drunk police officer.
In a majority of the states, such an offense by a police officer while on duty the punishment is in the form of termination. Intoxication on duty is considered a violation of a police officer’s employment contract. Depending on individual cases, there are also times when an officer can be decommissioned too. In such cases the person’s certification to be a police officer is terminated. In a majority of such cases, the officer’s themselves tend to resign, rather than face disciplinary action.

Then there is also the case of states where police officers can actually work with a certain level of alcohol. There are also some countries where it is allowed. For example, in Lebanon, police officers are allowed to work with a 0.04 blood alcohol level.

Lobbying Legislators As Well As Policing Elements In The All-Out War

Lobbying legislators are the Achilles heel of grassroots movements, which explains why these organizations never seem to get anywhere with regards to pushing forward with their agenda. Like the issue of police misconduct, for example. When two aspects of the government, namely law creation and law enforcement are so close together, the fight to drive a deep wedge between the two often becomes quixotic. Only a charismatic representative with a knack for convincing legislators can be the best secret weapon.

Two landmark cases come to the fore, courtesy of two countries. Accordingly, in Canada, alleged British Columbia bomb plotters were exonerated recently. An unequivocal judge has ruled that the local police has overreached by planting evidence in order to frame up the suspects. Meanwhile, in the Philippines, the police have been involved for some time now in the extrajudicial killing of suspected drug addicts.

In this case, police actions are being orchestrated from the highest office of the land, no less than the presidency of the Philippines. A confessed former drug addict who is proud of his recovery, President Rodrigo Duterte believes that the drug problem has escalated so much in his country that no other solution presents itself other than to weed out all vestige of drug usage. In the United States, police forces in many cities are increasingly being accused of using undue force as well as suppression in rallies where white and black classes are involved.

At the same time, many Americans in uniform are increasingly being suspected of racial profiling when it comes to arresting black or people of Middle Eastern descent in traffic violation and terrorism-related crimes. Until the representatives on the other side of the fence learn to use exquisite tactics in lobbying legislators on their side, the status quo is highly like to remain. Thus, there is no end in sight for as long as human rights and other movements are still waiting for a savior who can give these organizations ample ammunition to level with police forces in pursuing organizational causes.

As it sits today, the battle is being fought at the lawmaking level instead of at the point where the law is being exercised. However, for any grassroots organization to thrive, it must have more than adequate representation in both the lobbying and the policing levels of government. Only such a two-pronged approach can ensure success.

Accordingly, people who are involved in hiring individuals to represent their causes in civil actions must be cognizant of the two-pronged approach to pursuing their political and other agendas. If not, these non-governmental organizations might do well to break down the said position into two individuals with two distinct portfolios. In other words, lobbying the lawmakers isn’t enough. It’s just one side of the coin.

A strong personality with an equally strong background in criminology and the police organization–complete the picture. It’s a picture that has been sadly missing in many cause-oriented groups that to this day are still struggling to push their causes along the front lines.

In creative terms, non-profits and other similar organizations must have in their midst or in their employ a person with the character of the movies’ Mockingjay. Man or woman, such a persona should be able to rally the masses into realizing their shared goals. Beauty, looks or charisma may not be mandatory requirements. Nevertheless, they help a great deal no matter how subliminally in a battle of battles. For ultimately, the battle is all about grit, first impression, and psychology.

Important Information On Police Brutality

The police play an essential role in our society. The officers are responsible for maintaining law and order ensuring citizens are free to conduct their activities without fear. Even with the vital role the law enforcers play, police brutality is an issue that continues to tarnish the reputation of this respected force.

Understanding the vice

This evil practice arises when police use excessive force in either calming riots or just enforcing law and order. Cases of extreme battering, shooting of unarmed civilians and torture are some of the complains citizens raise in this regard. In severe cases, such acts have resulted in maiming or even death of innocent civilians.

What are the measures to take if you are a victim of police brutality

For victims the whole experience is heartbreaking. The physical injuries and mental distress make most victims want officers who took part in the brutality to be arrested and charged. As a citizen, the first step is to launch a formal complaint to the authorities and is possible submit evidence. With such information, it is easy for investigations to be carried out and necessary action taken.

The role of the media and civil society groups in addressing such issues

For victims, the stories of their encounters under the arms of rogue officers have to be to be known. The media has been active in documenting and bringing such revelations to light. In some cases, they have even aired the events live as they happen to expose the ills been done by police to innocent citizens.

Civil society groups are very vocal in condemning such vices. They have continuously called for a stop in harmful practice. Demonstrations are one of the ways civil societies push for reforms in the police force and also arrest of rogue officials perpetuating this evil acts.

The role of the government in ending the practice

The police being an arm of the government is responsible for ensuring they use the most humane and civilised methods when dealing with civilians. Any rogue official should be taken to court the court, and if found guilty, the relevant legal action is necessary. The move will come a long way in ensuring the victims of such brutality get justice.

For those working in the police force, the virtue of integrity in the execution of work is critical. Harming innocent civilians whose lives you are supposed to protect is wrong. Police officers should desist from overstating their mandate no matter the situation.

Why Police Officers Should Be Honorable

The police officer is your friend. This is a popular aphorism and the message here is that you do not have to fear the policeman as long as you are a law abiding citizen. The job description of the average police officer covers a lot of ground. Apart from maintaining law and order, police officers carry out investigations, arrest and prosecute offenders. Because these officers wield so much power, some police officers may be tempted to abuse their powers. Now, the law will not condone abuse of power by police officers. This is why there are statutes to deal with police misconduct.

Police and Suspect Relations
If you are investigating a suspect, you cannot afford to get emotionally involved with the suspect. A police officer should be objective and impartial. For this reason, a personal involvement with anybody under investigation is prohibited. In cases where a male police officer gets emotionally involved with a female suspect, the relevant authority will sanction the officer in question.

Bribery and Corruption
A police officer should maintain the highest ethical standards all the time. It is a fact that many police officers are exposed to temptation in the course of their duties. In a high profile case of fraud or embezzlement of public funds, the suspects may offer police officers a hefty bribe. The honorable course of action here is to reject the bribe but not all police officers are honorable. In cases where a police man is indicted for taking or soliciting a bribe, the officer in question should be sanctioned and punished.

Collusion with Criminal Elements
One thing a police officer should never do is collude with criminals to pervert the course of justice. This is a serious crime because it might destroy the foundation of the criminal justice system. If a police officer is found guilty of this particular misconduct, he or should face the wrath of the law. In this context, collusion might take the form of destroying evidence, giving false testimony or hiring witnesses to give false evidence.

Lack of Diligent Prosecution
In the American criminal justice system, every accused person is presumed innocent until he or she is convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction. Getting a conviction in court largely depends on diligent prosecution by the police or the ministry of justice. If an accused person evades justice because the case was not properly prosecuted, the officer responsible for this police misconduct will be punished or even dismissed from service.

Why Police Officers Should Be Responsible

A police officer wields enormous power but power is needs to be tempered with responsibility. This is why police officers are trained to be responsible in the discharge of their duties. However, some police officers get carried away and commit offences that infringe on the rights of other citizens. When this happens, such officers can be charged for abuse of power. Below are some examples of police misconduct.

Excessive Force
Excessive force is one form of police misconduct that generates a lot of reaction from the society. This is because it usually results in physical injury, disability or even death. A police officer may shoot a suspect in self-defense if that suspect is armed or attempts to attack the officer. However, in cases where the police officer shoots an unarmed person, the officer in question is liable and may be prosecuted. It is important to point out that result takes precedence over intentions in cases of excessive force. If the police officer had good intentions but used unreasonable force, he or she will still be liable.

Malicious Prosecution
A malicious prosecution claim against a police officer may be substantiated under the following conditions. The police officer in question commenced criminal proceedings against another party. The proceedings ended in favor of that other party (there was no conviction). The police officer accused of malicious prosecution could not show probable cause. The proceeding was brought with malicious intentions toward the victim.

Failure to Intervene
Police officers have a duty to protect members of the society from violations of the constitution by other officers. In cases where an officer fails to protect any citizen from constitutional violations by fellow officers, that police officer may be charged with failure to intervene. Clearly, failure to intervene is an abuse of power but it is difficult to prove because police officers generally stick together and close ranks when one of them is threatened.

False Arrest
A case of false arrest may be preferred against a police officer if the victim has cogent grounds. If the officer violated the Fourth Amendment right of the victim, there are grounds for a case of false arrest. In addition, the victim must show that the arresting police officer in this context had no probable cause.

Final Word
Police officers are trained to enforce the law and not to abuse it. In cases where a case of misconduct has been established against a law enforcement agent, that officer should be punished because this will serve as a deterrent to other officers.