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Ruling focuses on law enforcement and quotas

The ruling in a drunk driving case across the country is being felt in South Carolina and other areas where people are fed up with unfair efforts to punish alleged offenders. A woman in Maryland had her charges dropped when she and her attorney proved to a judge that the police were possibly motivated to issue her a citation to meet a quota that would make them eligible for overtime pay made available by federal grant money.

The officer that pulled the woman over at a saturation point was being paid overtime by the federal money at the time. The federal money was being offered to police who were part of an effort to crackdown on drunk or aggressive driving by using saturation points.

The woman's lawyer entered into evidence a memo that went out to local police suggesting that they issue two to four citations per hour. Police in that area contend that they were not looking to achieve any sort of quota; rather, the memo was issued simply to outline the requirements needed in order to be in line for the federal grant money. But the judge did not see it that way, condemning the act and deeming evidence in the case inadmissible. The woman, who was caught driving with twice the legal limit of alcohol in her system, saw police drop her charges.

This is new ammunition for alleged offenders who might have been targeted by police simply to reach a quota. This is not a notion contained to Maryland. Many states take advantage of the federal grants provided by the National Traffic Safety Administration. This recent ruling could possibly get folks in South Carolina to examine how police are compensated and whether or not they are basing their performances on quotas.

Source: Baltimore Sun, "Drunk-driving quota case may lead to similar efforts elsewhere," Andrea F. Siegel, Jan. 6, 2012

1 Comment

Focusing on Quotas is not a way to enforce drunk driving awareness. At Palm Beach Sheriffs Office we get the job done right.

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