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Fort Wayne Police Officer to be disciplined

An update to my earlier blog post about Sgt. Hollis Burton of the Fort Wayne Police Department. The Fort Wayne Board of Public Safety will hear about Sgt. Burton's five-day suspension, which has already been served. Sgt. Burton was pulled over on September 29, 2011 for suspicion of Drunk Driving (DUI/OWI) after a concerned citizen called 911 about his driving.

According to an article by Dominic Adams in the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, Burton was never given a breath test and was given a ride home by another officer. Additionally, Chief York acknowledged "[b]ecause of a supervisory proble, it's impossible for me to know what his (Burton's) level of intoxication was." York also admitted a breakdown in the chain of command and that a Captiain should be "out at the scene making sure the proper procedures were followed." Presumably, York will be following up on these issues and should consider disciplinary action against the other officers involved.

A police officer should not be given preferential treatment during a traffic stop, whether it is for a speeding, an equipment violation or for Drunk Driving (DUI/OWI). No driver that I know has been stopped for an drunk driving (DUI/OWI) investigation has been given a ride home by the police. Normal drivers are given a Portable Breath Test (PBT) and even if the result is under .08 (the legal limit in Indiana), they are taken away in handcuffs to submit to a certified chemical test. None are given a pass as Sgt. Burton was.

If you or anyone you know is in need of assistance with Traffic Violations, whether relatively minor, like Speeding, or more serious offenses such as Drunk Driving or Operating While Suspended, contact Gregory A. Miller, a Fort Wayne Criminal Defense Lawyer at (260) 426-6666.