Ohio-based Journal-News has reported that cops in some Ohio communities are allowed to head to work after drinking some alcohol. That’s right, they’re allowed to strap on their gun and patrol the streets with alcohol in their systems.
Union contracts protect Ohio law enforcement from discipline when their blood alcohol is 0.04 percent or below while on the job. What’s more, until recently, their contract contained a clause that allowed them to suck on a breath mint before being tested for alcohol.
Current Lebanon Police Chief Jeff Mitchell was successful in removing the breath mint clause this past summer.
“Doesn’t that sound odd to you that you would have that in a contract with police?” said Mitchell while acknowledging that mints can affect the accuracy of breathalyzers.
There’s a reason why officers must observe a DUI (OVI in Ohio) suspect before performing a breathalyzer; to make sure that, among other things, they don’t ingest anything that might affect the results.
The double standard couldn’t be more obvious.
In Ohio, as well as California, a person can still be arrested if they are not at a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more. If the officer subjectively determines that the person is “under the influence,” even if they’re at, oh I don’t know, say 0.04 percent, they can still be arrested.
Although unlikely, this means that a person could get arrested for a DUI by an officer less sober than himself.