Police drunk on the job.

| February 15, 2013

Well it looks like in certain areas of Chicago have been found Police officers under the influence of alcohol on the job. What makes it noteworthy is that according to a investigation reported by NBC that would allow them to work under the influence.

Many suburban departments actually have clauses in their union contracts which prevent any kind of discipline for officers with substantial amounts of alcohol in their systems — even those nearing the state definition of legally drunk, an investigation by the Better Government Association and NBC Chicago reveals.

“I worry about it every day,” said Sam Pulia, the mayor of west suburban Westchester.

Pulia, himself a former Westchester police officer, tried unsuccessfully to stop ratification of his department’s union contract which only allows discipline against officers when they hit an alcohol level of .05.

So are the Police Unions allowing members to not be fire for drinking on the job? Will it take someone being killed before this changes? Why is this being tolerated?

“It’s absolutely outrageous. These are collective bargaining agreements in which police unions have somehow forced police departments to allow high levels of alcohol in the bloodstreams of cops when they’re on the job,” Shaw said.

If the Unions want a pay increase then one of the thing that should be changed this policy now. Because who wants to explain a incident like this because they were buzzed.

Category: Dumbass Bullshit, Guns

Comments (47)

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  1. MAJMike says:

    Well, professional LEOs are the only ones who may be trusted to be drunk on duty.

  2. Hondo says:

    Kinda gives a new meaning to the old “Look For the Union Label” slogan/jingle, doesn’t it?

  3. Curt says:

    “Stop or I’ll *hic* shoot!” *stumbles, falls against cruiser*

  4. David says:

    Kinda explains now you could shoot up a blue Tacoma instead of a black Titan. They must be giving lessons to LAPD

  5. Sporkmaster says:

    I sent a email to Fraternal Order of Police of Chicago to see what their take is. I hope to have a reply soon.

  6. 68W58 says:

    In an emergency Andy Taylor had to deputize Otis Campbell because Barney Fife’s bullet was not serviceable.

  7. A Proud Infidel says:

    “KNOW why I pullsh you over? *HIC*,… HUH?!,….”

  8. CC Senor says:

    At what point do you hit .05? Back in the day in Germany we were allowed a beer with a meal. At Graf the messhall became a beerhall at the evening meal. Of course, back then we also got cigarettes in our C rations.

  9. Just an Old Dog says:

    The only explainable reason I see for this is when officers get called in unexpectedly following a night where they imbibe. If you tie one on Friday night not expecting to be called in Saturday and get called in for some unexpected reason you could still be reasonably intoxicated.

  10. Ex-PH2 says:

    Lake County allows 0.03 blood alcohol. I will remember that if I ever get stopped by anyone.

  11. Old 21B says:

    If stopped and the officer wants to give you a field sobriety test always ask them to demonstrate first. If they can’t do it they should expect you to do it either.

  12. malclave says:


    Yeah, I’m sure that will go over great in Chicago.

    I think I need to watch an Adam-12 marathon this weekend to bolster my trust in the police.

  13. FatCircles0311 says:

    I’m conflicted on this. I understand police aren’t robots and should be able to kick some back to relax when off duty but showing up to work the next day with a .02 isn’t going to impair them from performing their duties. What is the legal limit to drive? I think that would be a good standard.

  14. fubar says:

    Common in police departments across the nation. Local department runs a taxi service for drunk officers at the FOP lodge. Excessive alcohol use off duty can also impair judgment while on duty.

    This Dallas officers antics are a prime example.

  15. Powerpoint Ranger says:

    This is pretty ironic, considering the recent national “Buzzed driving is Drunk Driving” campaign.

    As a former LEO (Sheriff’s Deputy), this is nuts to me because the idea that we had any amount in our system on duty was unthinkable. I worked in a non-union area, so maybe that’s the difference.

  16. streetsweeper says:

    Wait a frigging horse hair minute….They can have consumed alcohol and be armed and on duty, but if I do I will lose every stinking permit, security clearance and driving privilege? These mofo’s are exempt? F ’em!

  17. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @13. I don’t know that the legal limit matters here. Good judgment is the first casualty of alcohol consumption.

  18. Devtun says:

    Lets see, CPD won’t respond to burglaries, want a 12% pay bump, can be sloshed on the job, and have highest major metropolitan murder rate in the country…I’d say Chicagoans are getting value for the tax dollar.

  19. streetsweeper says:

    Leave it to Devtun. lol!

  20. Virtual Insanity says:

    Meanwhile, a pilot can lose his license for violating the 12-hour bottle-to-throttle rule (with no lingering effects).

    Of course, pilots’ judgements actually affect other people’s liv….never mind.

  21. NSOM says:

    re #15

    I can’t imagine doing police work without a union. Then again if you were in a non-union area maybe you were in one of those few areas with a civilian population that didn’t hate you and a municipal government which wasn’t throwing your guys under the bus all the time?

  22. streetsweeper says:

    Then you have never enjoyed to benefits of being told “You can’t arrest me because my momma/daddy sleeps with the county judge” or you have never rigged a five point harness to hang for 12 hrs in a pine tree observing a college teacher taking porn photo’s of college girls to add to his personal collection and you probably have never had the joy of appearing in front a district court judge that was born around the time of our Lord. In short, quit yer bitching. 😉

  23. streetsweeper says:


  24. shovelDriver says:

    Um . . . anyone other than a cop who is caught carrying a firearm, or just having one in the car, while drinking is damned near automatically convicted without trial and subject to permanent loss of 2A Rights with concurrent classification as a felony offender. Federal law states that once so convicted, you lose any Right to have a firearm or even just to be around firearms. In a logical world, this would disqualify any cop from continued work in law enforcement. Are cops different? Better? Or worse? And if so, should we treat them as the threats they seem to be?

  25. Eggs says:

    Well if they can put breathalyzers on Navy ships then they can put them in police….nevermind.

  26. Powerpoint Ranger says:


    Our relationship with the public was fairly decent for the most part (outside of the meth head/gangbanger/wife beating segment that every place has), and the Sheriff had our back in most cases. Working for an elected official is definitely a double-edged sword; on one hand he took care of us pretty well, but political tensions could get high during election season. There were a few bullshit political situations and special people you had to tiptoe around, but compared to other cases I’ve seen/heard about it was fairly mild.

    The county commission was the biggest headache (mainly due to a few stupid members who flat-out said they didn’t make much distinction between hiring a public works ditch digger and a certified peace officer who risked getting killed every night), and there were a few times when some union pushback would have helped, but all in all I think we weren’t any worse for not having it when you consider all the tradeoffs. We were one of the better paying agencies in the area, and I think a big trade-off for the lack of a union was having a greater percentage of guys who really cared about the job and doing it right vs. people who just spent their time figuring out ways to game the system for their own benefit.

    For personnel issues, we had a civilian “merit board” which anyone not on probationary status could appeal to in cases of disciplinary action. There was also a pretty level-headed approach to use of force issues. Being out-of-bounds wasn’t tolerated, but you also didn’t have to worry about getting tossed under the bus over nothing.

  27. This sounds about right for IL. When I started copper work in 1979, we had watch commanders who’d come to work drunk…have roll call, then go home. They’d tell us rookies to call them if there was a problem. I never called them.

  28. NASCAR says:

    I’ve encountered the Gestapo here in Joshua tree that smelled. Long story, he was intoxicated, I wasn’t, and they owe me a phone.

  29. RBRfan says:

    What the fuck?! As a cop, let me be VERY clear. This is one of the most idiotic, irresponsible, ludicrous, moronic things I have ever heard. These idiots are why people hate everyone in Law Enforcement. I don’t drink at all for several reasons but I have plenty of co-workers who like to tie one on during a day off or after they get home at the end of shift. NONE of them would dare come in to work if they thought they still had alcohol in their system. Hell, I observe the 12 hour rule if I have a cold and take NyQuil! Any cop that goes to work drunk (and that’s the level some of these places allow) should be fired on the spot. Our job is to protect people and prevent crime, NOT COMMIT IT!

  30. MAJMike says:

    @29 — Thank you for your professionalism. Here in San Antonio, your attitude reflects that of the LEOs with whom I’ve had contact. After 50+ years here, the police officers, sherrif’s deputies, MPs/Air Cops, and even Park police I’ve met have been top notch.

  31. NASCAR says:

    I should correct that, referring to our local Leo as “Gestapo” could be taken offensively. I’m going to put on my big boy pants and just say this, the police/chp around this area are almost as bad as the lapd. I apologize if I offended anybody.

  32. jonp says:

    As a holder of a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) my BAC limit is less than the general public at .04%. Federal Law states I can not drink within 4hrs of driving. So I am to believe that an armed police officer that has a higher BAC than I do can arrest me for driving under the influence?
    something wrong with this picture??

  33. jonp says:

    @streetsweeper: hanging in a tree taking porn pictures?

  34. Hondo says:

    For those interested, here’s an estimated BAC chart for males:

    For a 180lb guy, approx 0.02% BAC results from 1 standard drink (12 oz beer, 5 oz wine, or shot of 80-proof liquor). Two such drinks yields 0.04%; three, 0.06%. Four or more and you’re legally drunk (0.08% BAC) in most jurisdictions.

    Subtract 0.01% for each 40 min that has passed since imbibing began. BAC may vary with individuals, so this is only an approximation based on population averages.

    I personally think police work should be completely alcohol free while on duty (e.g., zero BAC) for reasons that should be obvious. But anything above 0.02% is IMO absolutely absurd and indefensible.

  35. Just an Old Dog says:

    “FatCircles0311 Says:
    February 15th, 2013 at 6:48 pm
    I’m conflicted on this. I understand police aren’t robots and should be able to kick some back to relax when off duty but showing up to work the next day with a .02 isn’t going to impair them from performing their duties. What is the legal limit to drive? I think that would be a good standard.”

    I think in Illinois the limit is .08 for drunk driving, so at .05 they wouldn’t be considered impaired for operating a regular vehicle. There is a separate standard for COMMERCIAL drivers which is .04.

  36. NSOM says:

    re #26

    I just live in a different world I suppose.

    Here in Seattle if the PD didn’t have a robust Officer’s Guild they’d be getting lynched. I’ve never seen a population that’s so irrationally anti-cop or a city government more in a rush to screw them over for the next election. Our City Attorney actually gave two guys immunity who assaulted an off-duty cop, after he tried to stop them from stealing a woman’s coat, in exchange for their superfluous testimony that after the cavalry arrived the off-duty cop kick one of them, post-cuffing. Then he took the cop to trial for felony assault (of which he was acquitted).

    Cops walk into coffee shops and people scream “murderers” at them. When they get out of a car to make contact crowds of people gather with their video phones, hoping to “catch” them doing something they can send to the news. The DOJ came into town at the behest of the left-wing movers and shakers of the city then railroaded the PD with a study saying Seattle cops have a problem being racist thugs. Of course when asked they refused to disclose the metrics used to reach this conclusion. I could go on and on.

  37. Hondo says:

    Just and Old Dog: don’t be too sure about that. Many jurisdictions have a two-tiered law when it comes to driving and alcohol. The lower one is considered driving while “impaired” and often has a lower standard than driving while “intoxicated”.

    The >= 0.08 BAC limit is typically for “intoxicated”, which is a more serious offense. The >= 0.05 BAC limit is typically the legal standard for the lesser offense of “impaired” – if the jurisdiction has a set BAC standard for “impaired”. Some don’t, and rely instead on the judgement of the arresting officer regarding impairment.

  38. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @36. So, yesterday I’m clicking through some TV channels and I come upon some super lefty network or show (I don’t know which), replete with old hippie woman w/o makeup and probably unshaved underarms and legs. One of their guests is a white-haired, fully bearded guy and the caption reads, Former Seattle Chief of Police. I damn near fell off my chair. His name was Stompers or Stumps or something.

  39. NSOM says:

    re #38

    Seattle has a long history of underwhelmimg and/or shifty Police Chiefs, that one’s name is Norm Stamper.

    He’s a real piece of shit and the same guy who totally bungled the WTO riots. He was basically forced to resign, after WTO and right before a pending no-confidence vote. There’s two “manage to piss everyone off” types, the effective reformer and the impossibly incapable, over their head outsider. Stamper was the later.

  40. streetsweeper says:

    I’m not glad nor surprised to see that things have not changed out there, NSOM. Seattle does sport a rather huge marxist base. When I worked Seattle Center, took an immense amount of joy in upsetting their apple carts, lol. I needled them to no end because I could get away with it. Is Norm still running around out there? Last interaction I had with him(98)was pleasant at the least, but got to be funny as hell. Somebody new was working security door, let him in on an expired pass. He was a bit surprised when several of us showed up at the seat he was in and explained the problem. “But, I am the chief of police”. “Yea well, that may be but your pass is not valid, sir”. LOL!

  41. jonp says:

    @35: Are you really comfortable with an individual carrying a deadly weapon being under the influence of any alcohol deciding whether or not you are threat enough to shoot you? If others can not drink and drive/work/carry a firearm the police sure as hell should not be.

  42. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @39. Thanks. What is up out there, anyway? It’s threatening to supplant Frisco as the leftiest, creepiest city in the country. Or has it already done so?

  43. streetsweeper says:

    @ 42: Air Cav- WTO says it all…

  44. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    @ 36 … Not starting an argument here but:

    You say: “cavalry arrived the off-duty cop kick one of them, post-cuffing”

    I say: if that is the case, the LE was probably wrong. Once a suspect is cuffed, the LEO’s are responsible for the suspect’s safety, no amount of striking force is typically authorized on a suspect that is cuffed or restrained in any way. However, in acases where the suspect is spitting, head butting, and wildly kicking, there may me some wiggle room. Rule is quite simple: once cuffed force ends!

    Former Federal LEO – still working in industry!

  45. NSOM says:

    re #44

    Oh no, he was totally in the wrong, you don’t get in extra licks on a guy after he’s in cuffs. There’s actually dash cam video you can probably YouTube (which is why I said the immunity was superfluous).

    It was two on one and he was getting his ass kicked but he kept just fending them off until the rest of the PD showed up because all he had was a sidearm and he didn’t want to escalate it with two drunk guys. After backup had them cuffed and on the ground the off-duty guy, still pretty dazed, kind of gave one of them a “fuck you” kick as he was helped away.

    The best part? The assailants were white and the cop black and at least one of them was screaming racial epithets at the cop while attacking him. If the victim had been anyone but a cop those two retards would have been paraded around Seattle and charged up the wazoo with hate crimes while all the local Progressive politicians got in their face time on the evening news. Instead they got a get out a jail free pass in exchange for testimony.

    The justice was that the cop was acquitted on an “I was just beaten and not fully cognizant of my actions” type defense. Instead of eating an internal reprimand he got off scott-free. Plus some of the usual anti-white racist “black community leaders” who usually shit all over the police came to his defense because of the racial angle. They’re still useless but it was nice to see at least a couple break ranks.

  46. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    OK …. totally wrong!

  47. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    re 45 OK …. you have more info then me! I agree >>> totally wrong!