Friday, March 7, 2014

The Thin Blue Line Only Stretches So Far...


Drunk off-duty police officer attempts to get arresting trooper to let him off
Recently released dashcam video shows an off-duty police officer getting arrested for a DUI and pleading with the fellow officer to let him go. The incident took place on February 16 at around 3 a.m. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) pulled officer Albert Coriat, 40, over on Florida’s Turnpike in the city of Plantation for making an illegal U-turn.

As reported by WSVN 7 News, after Coriat, a 14-year veteran of the Miami-Dade Police Department, was pulled over he flashed his badge and ID to the FHP trooper and denied being drunk. But according to the FHP report, the trooper detected a “strong odor of alcohol” from Coriat’s breath. The Miami-Dade police officer tried to use his shared law enforcement position with the trooper and asked that he look the other way.
I really don't know about this one. I would like to think that the Highway Patrol officer is being a true professional and actually doing his job, you know, the whole "justice is blind" deal and all that. But I know from my dad and the MA state police that internecine rivalries can be a very real and visceral thing, and it's quite possible that the HP finally got sick of the locals acting like jackasses and thinking they could get away with it. I hope it's the former - that this Highway Patrol officer is one of The Good Guys, and he wants to get criminals off the streets.

There's a part of me that wonders, though, if the FHP officer knew, from having called in the car and talking to the driver, that the other officer was intoxicated - and the dash camera in the FHP vehicle was capturing the entire exchange. Did he follow through with the arrest because it was the right thing to do, or because he couldn't figure out how he could let the guy walk after his own cruiser cam caught the guy stumbling around? I hope it's the former, again.

What's telling, though, is the very last line. The officer arrested for drunk driving? Released from duty - with pay. I'll bet $50 he doesn't lose his job, either - so he's getting a paid vacation for drinking and driving. It's not like he got a ticket for the illegal U-turn and that's what he was protesting - while I'd still admit that it's wrong, there's a lot different from turning down a simple moving violation and looking away from someone that's a danger on the street.

Good on you, Mr. Highway Patrol officer.

That is all.

Another dispatch from...
(image courtesy of Robb Allen)


Dave H said...

If I was a LEO sharing a highway with drunks, I'd want them put away because they're putting MY butt in jeopardy. "Professional courtesy" flows both ways.

Old NFO said...

Yep, do the crime, do the time REGARDLESS! Good on the FHP!