Call Today for Free Consultation 260.833.7249
Unwavering Commitment to Protecting Your Rights Fort Wayne Criminal Defense Firm

No Drunk Driving arrest for Fort Wayne Police Officer - a HUGE problem

It's 9:00 p.m. You are driving on East State Boulevard near Cresent Avenue here in Fort Wayne. You've had a few "adult beverages" and aren't drivng safely. Someone calls the Fort Wayne Police Department because they are concerned about your driving. The police respond. You are pulled and admit to drinking and driving. In most cases, you would be taken to the lock-up and would be given standardized field sobriety tests and a certified chemical test. But, if you are Sgt. Hollis Burton of the Fort Wayne Police Department, you wouldn't be arrested for drunk driving (DUI/OWI) or Reckless Driving. You wouldn't even be given a portable breath test (PBT). You would be driven home by other officers of the Fort Wayne Police Department. Perhaps Sgt. Burton's former role as President of teh Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (the union that represents police officers) helped him a bit.

On September 29, 2011, Sgt. Burton was stopped on suspicion of drunk driving. He has remained on the job and has yet to be disciplined. According to an article in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne Police Chief Rusty York acknowledged that Sgt. Burton was over the legal limit when he was stopped. Chief York also said "We're taking this seriously and there's going to be a consequence for Sgt. Burton."

Really? The Fort Wayne Police Department is taking this seriously? Perhaps with Sgt. Burton, but what about the officers who clearly gave him favorable treatment? Who are they? Do they have a history disciplinary actions? Have they look the other way on other illegal actions by other police officers? It doesn't appear we will know because, according to the Journal Gazette Article, Chief York is REFUSING to release the names of the other officers. More importantly, he said these officers WON"T be disciplined.

This stinks of hypocrisy. Neither Sgt. Burton nor any officer should be given preferential treatment during a traffic stop, whether it is for aninfraction (Speeding, Failure to Signal, etc.) or Drunk Driving (DUI/OWI).

Gregory A. Miller is a Fort Wayne Criminal Defense Lawyer and can be contacted at (260)426-6666.