January 27, 2010

Guest Blog by Carl McDonald-MADD National Law Enforcement Initiative Manager

Recently a television show starring Steven Segal comes to our attention because it allegedly portrays law enforcement officers giving breaks to drunk driving offenders. The name of the show is “The Lawman” and it’s airing on the A&E Network.

I’ve looked at three episodes and I am stunned. This is a “reality” show based on Segal riding shotgun on some sort of mall-cop party patrol with the good old boys down in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana where it appears the sheriff’s deputies are behaving more like middle school hall monitors than law enforcement officers.

We support our law enforcement officers nationwide. It’s a natural partnership for us and them. However, partnerships are two-way streets and the portrayal of “law enforcement” seen on this show is some sort of relic from over 30 years ago when drunk driving was exacting the heaviest toll on our nation’s roadways. This isn’t law enforcement, this is a joke.

In three separate episodes, three different occasions arise where officers come in contact with impaired drivers – one involving a fairly serious injury collision complete with a witness from the bar the driver just vacated before overturning his car and ejecting his friend during the rollover. These guardians of the law failed to request blood tests on the driver.

I might think that was an editing error until we focus in on two more people who are deemed “too drunk to drive” by these clowns, but allowed to leave in a taxi or walk away without standardized field sobriety testing and without proper arrest decisions being attempted.

I called Colonel Fortunado of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and spoke to him about the behavior evidenced during these episodes. He spoke to me about “officer’s discretion” and the lack of state troopers available to evaluate the drivers, while assuring me that they make an arrest of a “really drunk guy” in a future episode.

I’m sure they do. No doubt they have to…because we are watching.


juliette said...

This is appalling to me, a former reporter who covered more than her share of DUI-related crashes.

If law enforcement wants to be taken seriously, they ought to contact Jefferson Parish law enforcement and tell them this show does nothing to promote the values of officers everywhere.

Frank said...

Well just have to say hi!
Topic should be are most of the sherrriff in St,Mary's County MD crooked?
I live here and have seen alot, we have a bar here that not only gets every one drunk but serves alot of ilegal drugs.
Not sure how the owners got a licence (well ok yes I and most others know) OHHH and law inforcement didn't know!!!!!
I was lucky.. I got a DWI early in life and learned my lesson. (loking back it was the best awakening, I learned)
The local bar.. Heavy hitters served liquor and all the drugs any one would ask for. (they were busted for drugs last sept, insane ly, only shut down for one day.
This time by the US attorneys office, aparently no better than the locals!!!!!!
Rumors are that the drug dealing owners are "WELL" connected with the local sheriffs.
Well Its been a year and still operating, any chance that MADD can shut these people down?
Cant do any worse that the local yokels and the US attorneys.

Frank said...

If you want t get over or just laugh at law inforcement,or govt stop by heavy hitters bar in Mechanicsvill Md. Or call the liquor board.