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Posted: 8/30/2004 11:35:15 PM EST
I am sick and tired of the local PD not taking drunks to wherever they take drunks. EMS just brought me a guy who was drunk at a bar. PD had been called because he was stumbling toward his car. They called EMS and told the medics to bring him to me. This happens all the time. I have had dozens of people tell me that after being involved in an accident while they were driving under the influence, that the PD on scene actually gave them the option of going to the hospital or going to jail. These are people with no injuries. I can't help but think the only reason for doing this is to avoid whatever paperwork is involved. DWI is not taken seriously unless someone is hurt or killed. So instead of doing the right thing and have these boneheads face the consequences of their behavior, PD makes it my problem, occupies beds in my Emergency Department, and takes up the time and resources of the ED staff that could be used on those who really need to be there.
Link Posted: 8/30/2004 11:40:30 PM EST
The next drunk I happen upon stumbling to his car will now get a little timber, thanks to you.


Excessive EToH is a medical condition around here.
Link Posted: 8/30/2004 11:42:54 PM EST
How exactly does one treat a drunk? Hair of the dog?
Link Posted: 8/30/2004 11:45:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/30/2004 11:45:49 PM EST by astro]
Just so I'm not perceived as a complete ass--my dad was a cop, then Border Patrol in the 60s and 70s, then Texas DPS and retired a Ranger. I am 100% pro-law enforcement.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 2:56:48 AM EST
When they are extremely drunk, the jail won't take them, and a trip to the hospital is mandatory. Texas needs to add a PI citation option in this case, but the law currently forbids us from writing a ticket for PI. It is pathetic at times; you get two drunks who are a danger to themselves and others. The drunker of the two goes to the hospital because of the possibility of alcohol poisoning (the "L" word, liability again), but the less drunk one gets arrested.

For DWIs, it is actually easier, because then we just subpoena the toxicology screen.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 3:00:00 AM EST
I agree - right to the front of THIS tank...




Link Posted: 8/31/2004 3:11:35 AM EST
After 9/14, they really ought to install a flash suppressor on that tank barrel
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 3:13:11 AM EST


Originally Posted By natez:For DWIs, it is actually easier, because then we just subpoena the toxicology screen.


Is it a problem in court if an officer wasn't present when the blood was drawn and followed the blood to the lab to maintain 'chain of evidence', or are the results accepted as such?


Originally Posted By natez:
When they are extremely drunk, the jail won't take them, and a trip to the hospital is mandatory. Texas needs to add a PI citation option in this case, but the law currently forbids us from writing a ticket for PI. It is pathetic at times; you get two drunks who are a danger to themselves and others. The drunker of the two goes to the hospital because of the possibility of alcohol poisoning (the "L" word, liability again), but the less drunk one gets arrested.



I've admitted my share of drunks brought in by the police. I'd rather that than have them vomit and aspirate in a prison cell and then be responsible for paying higher taxes because of a resulting lawsuit. The drunks don't usually have any insurance so I don't get paid. I see it as taking one for the team (taxpayers).

Link Posted: 8/31/2004 8:12:26 AM EST

Originally Posted By astro:
I am sick and tired of the local PD not taking drunks to wherever they take drunks. EMS just brought me a guy who was drunk at a bar. PD had been called because he was stumbling toward his car. They called EMS and told the medics to bring him to me. This happens all the time. I have had dozens of people tell me that after being involved in an accident while they were driving under the influence, that the PD on scene actually gave them the option of going to the hospital or going to jail. These are people with no injuries. I can't help but think the only reason for doing this is to avoid whatever paperwork is involved. DWI is not taken seriously unless someone is hurt or killed. So instead of doing the right thing and have these boneheads face the consequences of their behavior, PD makes it my problem, occupies beds in my Emergency Department, and takes up the time and resources of the ED staff that could be used on those who really need to be there.

Just remember that wherever you take a drunk, "you're welcome" is always the right response to tanks.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 10:37:47 AM EST
Just where do you think that we are supposed to take drunks? Jail hasn't been a "drunk tank" in at least the 16 years I have been with my agency.We do not have the facilities or 24/7 medical staff to deal with someone drying out.Here in NYS, an intoxicated person cannot be remanded to jail without a pre-incarceration physical.If they are too intoxicated, the jail staff will not accept them.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 10:44:06 AM EST
We still have a tank and I use it normally. When we get people that are COMPLETELY wasted though they normally go to the hospital since we do not have the facilities to care for them should they decide to choke on their own vomit and die in our tank.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 10:57:25 AM EST
San Diego, it's called DETOX, uuh been there twice\
Punk in Drublic

second time was a *sting*, cops hauled the mobile home out and everything, had to wait around, while they rounded up enough drunk people to fill the wagon.

and they charge you *rent*
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 11:19:51 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/31/2004 11:23:13 AM EST by natez]

Originally Posted By C-4:
Originally Posted By natez:For DWIs, it is actually easier, because then we just subpoena the toxicology screen.

Is it a problem in court if an officer wasn't present when the blood was drawn and followed the blood to the lab to maintain 'chain of evidence', or are the results accepted as such?..



None as of yet. If the person is coherent enough, we typically have an officer read them the stautory warning about providing a breath/blood sample. If they are so out of it they can't understand at all, we go for "implied consent" and just have the hospital draw blood for us, which goes through normal chain of custody, although, anymore, the hospitals generally refuse and just tell us "you can subpoena our results, they are better than the state lab anyway."


Originally Posted By natez:
When they are extremely drunk, the jail won't take them, and a trip to the hospital is mandatory. Texas needs to add a PI citation option in this case, but the law currently forbids us from writing a ticket for PI. It is pathetic at times; you get two drunks who are a danger to themselves and others. The drunker of the two goes to the hospital because of the possibility of alcohol poisoning (the "L" word, liability again), but the less drunk one gets arrested..

Originally Posted By C-4:
I've admitted my share of drunks brought in by the police. I'd rather that than have them vomit and aspirate in a prison cell and then be responsible for paying higher taxes because of a resulting lawsuit. The drunks don't usually have any insurance so I don't get paid. I see it as taking one for the team (taxpayers)..




The jails have been sued too may times for in-custody deaths and failing to provide adequate medical care (Equal Protection under the 14th). We really don't have any choice with extremely intoxicated folks. Once we have identified them as such, we have to take action, and the jails won't take them. Hospital is the only choice, although I think that it is inherently unfair that an extremely intoxicated person gets to duck the legal system. Like I said, we need to be able to cite for PI and release to a medical facility, as opposed to giving them a free ride.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 11:22:27 AM EST
These people end up in the ER taking care away from PT's that really need it.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 11:24:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By AUT_BELLUM:
San Diego, it's called DETOX, uuh been there twice\
Punk in Drublic

second time was a *sting*, cops hauled the mobile home out and everything, had to wait around, while they rounded up enough drunk people to fill the wagon.

and they charge you *rent*



ahh let me guess coming back from TJ?
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 1:25:08 PM EST
let me make you madder.

Our local jail won't take the following without a trip to the ER.

People in Traffic accidents, even if they refuse treatment on scene, to the ER they go.

Pregnant women. Even women who have a POSSIBILITY of being pregnant. ER for an exam.

Alcohol over a .16. ANY drug use within 48 hours, including marijuana.

Diabetics, high blood pressure, previous heart problems, You're going to spend the rest of your shift in the ER.

ANY use of force.

This little game is how the sheriff's dept deals with overcrowding. Make it hard enough to get in and your numbers go down.

As you can imagine, the various docs, ER staffs and police officers are rather pissed off about it.

But not to worry, there is a plan in the works.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 1:36:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/31/2004 1:42:51 PM EST by PennvilleBill]
They do bring drunks to jail in my county -- I know because I'm a jailer working the graveyard shift. However, I don't accept them for incarceration if they test 0.25% BAC or above (standing jail policy). They go to the local ER and wait until an MD can certify them as fit for incarceration. The reason for this is ≥ 0.25% is considered by the state of Indiana as the beginning threshold for death by alcohol poisoning.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 2:17:41 PM EST

Originally Posted By garandman:
I agree - right to the front of THIS tank...


www.army-technology.com/projects/abrams/images/abram16.jpg




LOL, you can count the number of problems that can't be solved by a tank on one hand.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 2:24:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By astro:
DWI is not taken seriously unless someone is hurt or killed.



I don't know how they do things where you live, but here DWI is taken very seriously. So seriously that the local PD sets up DWI checkpoints on weekends.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 3:56:39 PM EST
Natez, what do you mean by saying you can't cite for PI in Texas?

When I was in Texas I was threatened once or twice with PI. And no I wasn't driving anywhere just out for a walk and some bored small town cops decided to chat me up. So when they threatened me with PI were they bluffing?

By the way, they also wanted to take me to the jail and call someone sober to come pick me up in their car. They said in my condition they didn't want me to run the risk of hurting myself, walking on the streets of this small town at 1am. I fought back the urge to tell them I've been MUCH drunker in MUCH badder towns so they shouldn't worry. To this day I pat myself on the back for my diplomacy.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 4:15:31 PM EST
It is a liability thing...EMT checks them before hauling them to the drunk tank.

MT
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 4:50:39 PM EST
I understand the liability issue. No one wants anyone doing a Bonn Scott in jail. I guess a big component of the frustration stems from the fact that no LEO ever accompanies these folks. Few of them are down enough to have "alcohol poisoning". Most of them, in fact, are clinically sober. They are just given a free pass, even if operating a motor vehicle. So even after I do my little medical thing, if they are in no danger (which is about 99% of the time), my only choice is to sit on them in the ED until they are sober enough to get up and walk out, or we can find someone willing to come pick them up and either take them home or back to the bridge they sleep under.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 5:13:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By macro:
After 9/14, they really ought to install a flash suppressor on that tank barrel




Link Posted: 9/1/2004 2:21:12 AM EST

Originally Posted By N_Viejo:
Natez, what do you mean by saying you can't cite for PI in Texas?

When I was in Texas I was threatened once or twice with PI. And no I wasn't driving anywhere just out for a walk and some bored small town cops decided to chat me up. So when they threatened me with PI were they bluffing?

By the way, they also wanted to take me to the jail and call someone sober to come pick me up in their car. They said in my condition they didn't want me to run the risk of hurting myself, walking on the streets of this small town at 1am. I fought back the urge to tell them I've been MUCH drunker in MUCH badder towns so they shouldn't worry. To this day I pat myself on the back for my diplomacy.



We can arrest, release to a detox facility (which there aren't many of anywhere) or release to a responsible adult (like a friend or an attending physician. Other than those options, it is the only Class C misdemeanor that an officer is not allowed to issue a citation (ticket) for, under the Code of Criminal Procedures.
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