A Georgia police officer was demoted and placed on probation after he took to the road drunk to train another officer in DUI investigations.
Josh Harkins, an eight year veteran of the Floyd County Police Department, got permission from a superior officer to train a rookie officer who needed training in DUI investigation. What Harkins failed to tell his superiors was that the training involved him getting drunk and hitting the road to simulate a DUI stop.
Harkins, who was off-duty at the time, had the officer and her training officer arrive at his home around 12:15 a.m. on May 16th. An intoxicated Harkins drove his personal vehicle down the country road so that the rookie could initiate a DUI stop. During the training, a preliminary alcohol screening breathalyzer showed that Harkins’ blood alcohol content was most likely a 0.11 or 0.12 percent. After the training was over, Harkins was told not to drive. He, however, got back in his vehicle and drove home.
The police captain found out that Harkins was under the influence and notified the police chief. Harkins was not fired because, according to the police chief, Harkins’ “intentions were to better train and properly prepare a new officer for patrol and that he “benefited in no way from this incident.”
Apparently, Harkins was no different than many DUI suspects that he pulls over. He too believed that he did not believe that he was impaired when he performed the “training.”
Why wasn’t Officer Harkins treated like anyone else who drinks and drives? Why wasn’t he arrested on the spot? Why wasn’t he arrested for DUI at all?
According to Fox 5 I-Team, the police chief said, “There wasn’t a state-administered chemical test given to have enough evidence to take to court.”
If the training was done properly, as Harkins had intended, shouldn’t there have been a state-administered chemical test so that it would be admissible in court?
Instead, an officer gets away with driving drunk when, had it been any other member of the public, they’d be facing DUI charges.