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Posted: 8/9/2011 4:54:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2011 4:55:41 PM EDT by targettarget]

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20110807/ARTICLE/110809650?p=1&tc=pg


With no working vehicle, no DUI conviction


By Todd Ruger
Published: Sunday, August 7, 2011 at 6:33 p.m.</h5>


SARASOTA COUNTY
- Michael J. Vargo admitted at his DUI trial that he had been too drunk to drive as he sat behind the wheel of his truck in February.

When sheriff's deputies approached him, Vargo was eating a salad and had a cold, half-empty Icehouse beer in the front cup holder. When he got out of the truck he had to lean on it for support.

In some ways, it seems like a clear-cut drunken driving case, and yet the jury acquitted Vargo of the drunk driving charge in a matter of minutes last week.

They did so due to one key detail: the truck was broken down and unable to even start.

"It is not against the law to sit in an inoperable car to eat a salad drunk," said Vargo's defense attorney, Robert Harrison.

The deputy arrested Vargo, 45, under a little-known element in Florida drunken driving laws that say someone can be guilty of driving under the influence even if the officer never saw them drive.

It took a jury only about five minutes to acquit.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 4:55:56 PM EDT
5 minutes, LOL.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 4:56:00 PM EDT
Dangerous work, arresting people for DUI when they're not driving. Glad those brave officers got home safe.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 4:56:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JaredGrey:
Dangerous work, arresting people for DUI when they're not driving. Glad those brave officers got home safe.

Oh snap.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 4:57:28 PM EDT
Good acquit!
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 4:57:37 PM EDT
Was the key in the ignition?
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 4:58:23 PM EDT
My mother defended a guy for DWI in a similar case. He was pushing an inoperable car from one spot to another so the car wouldn't be towed. He was living out of his car.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 4:58:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2011 4:59:37 PM EDT by VACaver]
The cop who arrested him should be fired.

Seriously...who in their right mind would arrest someone for DUI in an inoperable vehicle?

If you can't make THAT judgement call, you shouldn't be a cop.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 4:59:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2011 4:59:44 PM EDT by ZW17]
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 4:59:43 PM EDT
Those officers and DA's need to be fired for wasting money, seriously.. they had to go to trial for that?
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:00:05 PM EDT
Would have been an easy PI conviction but I argree with acquittal.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:00:28 PM EDT
When an officer didn't see you drive???? The hell??? What if you are sitting on a lawn chair?
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:00:31 PM EDT
How did the vehicle become inoperable? Was he driving drunk and then it shit the bed, thus leaving him on the side of the road? Or had it been inoperable for days and he decided to climb into it to eat his salad? The fact that the vehicle may have become inoperable doesn't change that he likely was drunk while driving it prior to it shutting down.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:02:23 PM EDT
"But the deputy never tried to start the car, or felt if the hood was warm, or saw any other signs it had been recently driven."

This does not matter. No Deputy in his right mind, or in SOP, will try to start someone elses car on a criminal case.

The Deputy should have felt the hood, especially if he watched him for 20 minutes. Would have been a decent indicator.

Guy wasn't driving, and the keys were in his lap. Not a DWI. Good call by jury.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:05:00 PM EDT
no laughing matter.

when i went to UGA, you'd hear stories of college students pulling over because they were drunk, crawling in the back seat and going to sleep and getting popped for DUI. the old story was, if you had to do that, you got out of the car and move somewhere close by and zonked out.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:06:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By JaredGrey:
Dangerous work, arresting people for DUI when they're not driving. Glad those brave officers got home safe.


Maybe now they can go look for dangerous criminals with small bags of marijuana.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:08:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By JaredGrey:
Dangerous work, arresting people for DUI when they're not driving. Glad those brave officers got home safe.


What if his car weren't inoperable? What if he threw the keys in, and killed someones loved one? Fucks sake.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:12:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By LTBeas:
Guy wasn't driving, and the keys were in his lap. Not a DWI. Good call by jury.


In possession of the keys and in the vehicle would normally be good enough, but unless the vehicle was rendered inoperable due to his drunk driving, this one is bullshit.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:13:23 PM EDT
Maybe we can discuss farmers on tractors while baling hay in the field getting a DWI for having an open beer.

That's just as foolish a timewaster as this case was.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:14:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By VACaver:
The cop who arrested him should be fired.

Seriously...who in their right mind would arrest someone for DUI in an inoperable vehicle?

If you can't make THAT judgement call, you shouldn't be a cop.





this

Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:14:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Global_Cooling:
Was the key in the ignition?

If so, it would display Intent To Slay Some Pedestrian Motherfuckers, a felony.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:15:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2011 5:16:19 PM EDT by LTBeas]
Originally Posted By vanilla_gorilla:
Originally Posted By LTBeas:
Guy wasn't driving, and the keys were in his lap. Not a DWI. Good call by jury.


In possession of the keys and in the vehicle would normally be good enough, but unless the vehicle was rendered inoperable due to his drunk driving, this one is bullshit.


Here the keys have to be in the ignition. My PA might hit on it in the lap situation, but it would be ify at best. My bad, I should have clarified.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:18:22 PM EDT
Ok the cop should have just done a public drunk and called it good . A drunk cocksucker ran over my father in Fl. but I hate stupid cop stuff as well
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:22:10 PM EDT
The car didn't run. Theres no evidence of him driving it at all. Whats with all the well what if's. What if i had wheels, id be a wagon.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:22:55 PM EDT
Title is misleading. Cops don't charge individuals. Prosecutors do.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:23:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By kaos:
Maybe we can discuss farmers on tractors while baling hay in the field getting a DWI for having an open beer.

That's just as foolish a timewaster as this case was.

You can drive drunk on your own property, with no license, tag or plate!
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:23:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LTBeas:
Originally Posted By vanilla_gorilla:
Originally Posted By LTBeas:
Guy wasn't driving, and the keys were in his lap. Not a DWI. Good call by jury.


In possession of the keys and in the vehicle would normally be good enough, but unless the vehicle was rendered inoperable due to his drunk driving, this one is bullshit.


Here the keys have to be in the ignition. My PA might hit on it in the lap situation, but it would be ify at best. My bad, I should have clarified.

FL is broad, just being in the vicinity of the keys and in the vehicle is considered in actual physical control.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:27:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By LTBeas:
Originally Posted By JaredGrey:
Dangerous work, arresting people for DUI when they're not driving. Glad those brave officers got home safe.


What if his car weren't inoperable? What if he threw the keys in, and killed someones loved one? Fucks sake.


What if lighting struck the car causing it to come to life and he drove it around eating babies?
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:30:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ZW17:
I had a friend in college get arrested for sleeping in his car drunk after the bars closed... One catch, he didn't have the keys to the car.

He still got nailed for it though.

IMO it's pure bullshit that he was trying to do the right thing and still got hung out to dry.

Fuck the Oswego PD in NY.


I know a guy in Alaska who got arrested for sleeping it off in his back seat outside the bar , he had the engine running because it was -30 outside. He was passed out cold till super trooper woke him up.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:33:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By N1Rampage:

Originally Posted By kaos:
Maybe we can discuss farmers on tractors while baling hay in the field getting a DWI for having an open beer.

That's just as foolish a timewaster as this case was.

You can drive drunk on your own property, with no license, tag or plate!

Same in TX, you have to be on a public roadway.

Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:33:41 PM EDT
Further proof that DUI laws have never been about safety, but revenue generation.

Those don't believe this need to get your balls out of MADD's purse.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:33:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2011 5:33:55 PM EDT by GlutealCleft]
My brother was arrested for DUI because he was walking toward his car, while in possession of his keys. His BAC was 0.37 but didn't even manage to get in the vehicle.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:35:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By jaholder1971:
Further proof that DUI laws have never been about safety, but revenue generation.

Those don't believe this need to get your balls out of MADD's purse.




Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:38:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By N1Rampage:

Originally Posted By kaos:
Maybe we can discuss farmers on tractors while baling hay in the field getting a DWI for having an open beer.

That's just as foolish a timewaster as this case was.

You can drive drunk on your own property, with no license, tag or plate!
Don't bet on it, my friend.


Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:39:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By LTBeas:
Originally Posted By JaredGrey:
Dangerous work, arresting people for DUI when they're not driving. Glad those brave officers got home safe.


What if his car weren't inoperable? What if he threw the keys in, and killed someones loved one? Fucks sake.


What if frogs had wings? Then their asses wouldn't bump the ground when they hopped. Fucks sake.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:40:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MajorStumpDemon:
no laughing matter.

when i went to UGA, you'd hear stories of college students pulling over because they were drunk, crawling in the back seat and going to sleep and getting popped for DUI. the old story was, if you had to do that, you got out of the car and move somewhere close by and zonked out.


The moral of the story, keep driving till you get home or till you have an ooopsie.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:41:54 PM EDT
5 minutes that must be some kind of record.

glad they found him not guilty

Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:41:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By targettarget:
5 minutes, LOL.

As it should be.

Cops should have known better.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:42:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By jaholder1971:
Further proof that DUI laws have never been about safety, but revenue generation.

Those don't believe this need to get your balls out of MADD's purse.


In MO:

Deputy arrest Joe Blow For DWI = 2 hours paperwork = $50 for pay including insurance

Keep Joe in jail = $31 a day, usually 12 hours max, or release to responsible party. Anyone there over 3 hours, gets charged as a day. They usually don't pay so it goes to collections, and we all know how that works out, therefore the state will reimburse $19 a day. It cost $37.50 a day to keep you there. Meals clothing, sheets etc. So were losing money there.

Joe goes to court, Deputy overtime, were looking at $65-$90 for that day just for the Deputy. That's not including Judges, PA's, Court Clerks, Bailiffs, and electricity, etc. (Never figured up this cost)

Fines wont exceed $150, and Court cost is $47.50, and that goes into the victims compensation fund.

Revenue yes, funds no.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:43:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2011 5:44:28 PM EDT by Tango7]
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:52:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2011 5:58:37 PM EDT by Aeschylus]
Atleast the police went home safe.
Seriously? The police are not your friend and should not be trusted in any capacity
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:53:09 PM EDT
Yet another reason why I have hope for our country.

Decent informed Americans understand right and wrong.

The justice system, and the legislators who create and manage the laws, are severely out of touch.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:54:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2011 5:55:03 PM EDT by MotorMouth]
Originally Posted By Seth_Livzz:
Title is misleading. Cops don't charge individuals. Prosecutors do can, too.


FTFY

ETA: Good acquittal.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:56:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GlutealCleft:
My brother was arrested for DUI because he was walking toward his car, while in possession of his keys. His BAC was 0.37 but didn't even manage to get in the vehicle.

Entrapment....
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 6:01:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By roboman:
How did the vehicle become inoperable? Was he driving drunk and then it shit the bed, thus leaving him on the side of the road? Or had it been inoperable for days and he decided to climb into it to eat his salad? The fact that the vehicle may have become inoperable doesn't change that he likely was drunk while driving it prior to it shutting down.


Broken down in Walmart parking lot for previous 12 hours.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 6:04:15 PM EDT
DRIVING under the influence.

Gee that was confusing.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 6:07:40 PM EDT
Why did this even go to jury? Why didn't the judge just toss it out?
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 6:09:39 PM EDT
They should charge the cop with DUI too. Sure he wasn't drunk, but he was driving. What if he'd had a drink?
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 6:12:24 PM EDT
Here is something for the "at least the officers made it home safe crowd":

I can still charge you with DWI (in MO) if:

You refuse breathalyzer, I can get a warrant for blood (you can not refuse), but still do not have to.

You refuse Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

You refuse walk and turn

You refuse one legged stand

You blow UNDER .08

You refuse piss

If the keys are in the ignition, but not running with you behind the wheel.

If I witness you getting out of car that was running, while you were the driver.

Or even if you get out of a car, run, and I did not catch you, but a passenger in the car said you ran because you did not want a DWI. But along with that goes resisting arrest by fleeing, even though I didn't know I was going to arrest you.

It is not as bad as you think it is, or want it to be right now. It could be a lot worse. Think about that.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 6:14:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By N1Rampage:

Originally Posted By kaos:
Maybe we can discuss farmers on tractors while baling hay in the field getting a DWI for having an open beer.

That's just as foolish a timewaster as this case was.

You can drive drunk on your own property, with no license, tag or plate!


Wrong. We had a member get a DUI on a tractor.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 6:17:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By LTBeas:
"But the deputy never tried to start the car, or felt if the hood was warm, or saw any other signs it had been recently driven."

This does not matter. No Deputy in his right mind, or in SOP, will try to start someone elses car on a criminal case.

The Deputy should have felt the hood, especially if he watched him for 20 minutes. Would have been a decent indicator.

Guy wasn't driving, and the keys were in his lap. Not a DWI. Good call by jury.


The fact that someone 'wasn't driving' and the 'keys were in his lap' don't mean shit in Florida. But this is the right verdict.
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