Cop May Have Been Crooked, but at Least Helped Stop DUIs

By Matt Baume
|  Thursday, Mar 10, 2011  |  Updated 1:30 PM PDT
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Cop May Have Been Crooked, but at Least Helped Stop DUIs

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There's a silver lining to the story of a crooked cop in Contra Costa County. Even though he accepted bribes from a private investigator seeking to sully peoples' arrest records, he at least made roads a little bit safer by pursuing drivers prone to drunk driving.

The scheme was pretty clever: the PI wanted to discredit people who might oppose his clients, so he hired actors to flirt with victims at a bar. The actor would get a few drinks in the victim, then supply a detailed description so that the on-the-take deputy could arrest them as they drove away from the bar.

It's clearly a huge breach of ethics. But on the bright side: at least those drunk drivers were stopped. Even though they were only drunk as part of the PI's scheme, their willingness to get behind the wheel after a few drinks indicates that they shouldn't have a driver's license.

In fact, a few more schemes like this might've helped decrease the regular DUI-related death and dismemberment on Bay Area roads.

In Santa Rosa, a drunk driver crashed into four cars, rolling over and injuring himself and two others. And a young Calistoga man was killed by a drunk teenager who bought beer at Safeway.

And in Petaluma, a program specifically targeted to net drunk drivers caught two habitual drunks. Both had suspended licenses for past DUIs, but that didn't stop them from knocking a few back and getting behind the wheel. Both men were cited by police who, presumably, were just doing their job and not accepting bribes.

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