On Tuesday, March 11th, the city of La Mesa, California, held a ceremony honoring its Mothers Against Drunk Driving DUI Officer of the Year.
This otherwise unremarkable event became a bit of a spectacle—with flavors of both irony and hypocrisy—not because of the officer being honored, but because of the person giving the honor: La Mesa mayor Art Madrid.
On February 20th, less than a month before the ceremony (and on a Wednesday for crying out loud), Mayor Madrid was discovered by police lying flat on the sidewalk—intoxicated to the extreme—several feet from his idling SUV. It is not clear that he had been driving, however, since a city employee was also found, in a similar state of impairment, sitting in the driver’s side of the car. (It is not known what these two were doing prior to being found by police, but it would appear that they were enjoying themselves.)
Despite the obvious fact that someone was clearly guilty of DUI—and that both were drunk in public (an understatement, to be sure)—the police promptly drove them home, without so much as breathalyzer test or citation.
It’s difficult to make sense of cases such as these, when police officers and public officials are the lucky recipients of blatant favoritism. And this happens surprisingly often: simply perform an internet search for DUI news, and you’ll see what I mean.
Our common sense (and, possibly, our knowledge of Constitutional law) tells us that laws that are selectively enforced are inherently unfair.
I hope that things change. I hope that DUI I laws and DUI law enforcement will become more fair—rather than more politicized, more hysterical, and more inequitable.
Maybe then it won’t be as essential to people to fight, tooth and nail, for the rights that they are guaranteed.
But until then, it is essential. It is essential for you to educate yourself about the law and your rights. And it is essential, above all, that you find an experienced DUI attorney who will go to bat for you.
Judges, politicians and police officers might not need to, but—until things change—you do.
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