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This is Cop Work?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk


This is Cop Work?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
April 8, 2008

Did you see Sunday's article (Page 8C) in the Northwest Herald about the allegedly intoxicated McHenry venfor who was hit by a schoolbus at Cary-Grove High School on Friday? Cary Police say being an intoxicated pedestrian is a traffic offense. OK, so what's the big deal?

The Big Deal is that Cary Police charged the schoolbus driver for failure to exercise due caution to a pedestrian "only so police could legally test her for drugs and alcohol." The newspaper article said that, according to police, the schoolbus driver did not appear intoxicated.

This intrusive action by a police department is totally unacceptable. People (that's you and me, folks!) must object to this type of police work. Look! If they suspected she was intoxicated, okay, so charge her and test her.

But to cite the driver just so they could test her, this is wrong. Dead wrong!

I read a quote 12 years ago by a well-known Irish judge and politician who said, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." We cannot tolerate this type of intrusive police action. It must be stopped right at the curb. No, at the front door of the police station. No, right at the chief's desk.

The Cary Police owe the schoolbus driver an apology. And they owe her a dismissal of the charge. If an intoxicated person is hit by a school bus and there is no other indication that the school bus driver was at fault, only the intoxicated pedestrian gets a ticket.

Where did the accident happen? On school grounds? Is there a Vehicular Control Contract in place between the school district and the Village of Cary? The schoolbus driver needs a good lawyer who will fight and win a dismissal or Not Guilty verdict.

Has the Cary Police Department unfairly smeared the reputation of the schoolbus driver by insisting on testing for alcohol or drugs?

Does the school district have an administrative policy that any driver involved in any accident will be tested for drugs or alcohol? You know, like pilots and train engineers? OK, then that's an administrative issue, not a police issue!

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