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View Full Version : DUI and "Entrapment" Issues


QuestionPoster
09-06-09, 06:04 PM
I have a question....I was watching an advertisement today on television about my state's (Florida) improved efforts to crack down on DUI offenses and was wondering -- why do some people call it "entrapment" to have law enforcement patrolling right near bars and other establishments where alcohol is sold?

Now, I don't drink and have never been in such a situation (and don't plan to be, either;) ) but the way I see it, if a person sits in the driver's seat and turns the ignition on after having a drink, then they are making a choice to endanger themselves and others and, thus, breaking the law -- and the issue of "entrapment" (should) then goes out the window.

I don't know if you can answer this question or not, but DO officers and deputies stake out near bars, or is that not done because of "entrapment" concerns? Personally, I don't see the "problem" with setting up officers just outside bars.

I am curious....How do those in law enforcement generally view the issue?

P.S. Thanks for serving our nation's communities!


Legoate
09-06-09, 06:11 PM
Look up the definition for entrapment and see if you think it applies to this situation.

Many people use the term "entrapment" to mean they got caught doing something they thought they would get away with.

To apply it to DUI think of it this way:
1. Did the officer in some way encourage the person to become intoxicated?
2. Did the officer in some way encourage the person, who is now intoxicated, to drive their vehicle?
3. Did something the officer encourage the person to commit a crime that they would not have otherwise committed if the officer was not present?

Patrolling at bars near closing is merely picking off the low hanging fruit. If you are looking for DUI drivers, it's probably best too look near places that serve alcohol. Just like you'd look for red light runners in areas where there are actually signal controlled intersections.

To answer the last part of your question- Most officers don't have time to lurk around bars trying to catch DUI drivers. You'll find that most officers actually hate making DUI arrests- they are a major pain in the butt to deal with. We normally have better things to do on a Saturday night.

RoadKingTrooper
09-06-09, 06:15 PM
Entrapment?:confused: Beats the Devil made me do it LOL

Patrolling bars?

Would you bother going fishing where there were no fish?


QuestionPoster
09-06-09, 06:27 PM
Thanks for your quick replies. Very true -- there is no such thing as "entrapment" applying in such a case where a person broke a law without anybody "making them" commit an offense. I guess I have just read too many comments at the end of online DUI-related headlining news articles where some readers mistakingly apply the term "entrapment" to the issue.

Sgt. Slaughter
09-06-09, 07:19 PM
Those are called "jailhouse lawyers." Steer clear of them and anything they comment about. At least in this thread, you seem to be able to discern the difference between BS and the truth, but some (as you have already noted) clearly cannot.

CityOfChicago
09-06-09, 07:52 PM
The use of entrapment in this instance is used to refer to the following: A cop is patrolling around a bar looking for a DUI. He see's someone exit the bar, staggering about and apparently intoxicated. He watches that person walk up to a car, extract keys from a pocket, open and enter the car, start the car, and drive away. The officer than pulls the person over and arrests them for DUI. "Entrapment" is used to mean that the officer allowed an apprently intoxicated person to enter the vehicle and drive away, rather than stopping the person from driving off in the first place. Do officers have a responsibility to stop apparently drunk individuals from entering the car to begin with (no DUI arrest), or are they 'entraping' someone by waiting for them to drive away so they can then make the arrest?

Now, I will say this - I can't prove a persons 'intent' to drive their car until they get into it and sit behind the wheel. In Illinois, being in the car with the keys - car not running, is still arrestable as DUI. But if the guy walks up to his car and unlocks it, I still cannot show an intent to drive. Perhaps he knows he's too drunk to drive, and is opening the door to retrieve an item or two before walking away again. So is he walks up and opens the door - no crime has been committed. Not until he gets into the car. Now, in the old days, we could stop that person and lock their keys in the car so they couldn't drive. Cant do that no more and we'll get in BIG trouble if we do. So, my choices are 1) ignore the whole thing 2) stop the guy before he gets in to determine his intent, then is he persists in trying to drive deal with the drunk until he either contacts someone who will pick him up (who knows how long that will take) or gets aride from a friend at the bar 3) wait until he gets in the car and make a DUI arrest - a minimum 3 hour process here or 4) lock his keys in the car anyway and get back to work. Which do you think happens here the most?

I dont think any cop has the responsibility of preventing another persons bad judgement. It's not my responsibility to be Jimminey Cricket for a potential drunk driver. I have the responsibility to stop drunk drivers. If you get behind the wheel, I'll stop you. But It's not my job the make the decision about getting behind the wheel for you, preventing your arrest. You're an adult - take responsibility for your own decisions and dont get behind the wheel. If you're old enough to make the decision to get lit, you're old enough to make other decisions about you self, too.

retdetsgt
09-06-09, 08:34 PM
The definition of entrapment is encouraging an act the person wouldn't have done on his own.

CityOfChicago
09-06-09, 08:37 PM
I agree - the def of entrapment does not apply here. But posters were asking why some people had a problem with cops patrolling bars and the mis-labeled complaint of entrapment. I was just saying why people complain.

QuestionPoster
09-06-09, 10:09 PM
City of Chicago -- so true -- only an individual himself (or herself) has the duty of doing the right thing and being responsible. Regardless of "where" an officer stops an alleged offender (be it in the bar parking lot or miles away on a highway), that impaired driver made the choice to sit in the driver's seat -- let alone to, in the first place, go in the bar, drink, and then not ask a completely sober friend or family member to do the driving after.

CityOfChicago
09-06-09, 10:26 PM
My issue with the whole "entrapment" people is that their complaint is not about drunk driving but about being arrested. If I stop a guy on the stree before he gets in a car, or whether he gets in the car an I immediately stop him, I've prevented a drunk from driving and endangering others. The difference is the potential for arrest (if DUI is your thing). But I'm the a$$hole in the whole equation because I arrested a guy who voluntarily got drunk and voluntarily got behind the wheel. WTH?

And there is the apologist camp for drunk drivers that feels it's OK to excuse the attempt to drive drunk as "Well, he can't make that decision because he's so drunk" and want to put the onus on the cops as the bad guys for making the arrest. If someone got drunk and went home and killed their wife, will these apologists give the offender the same play "His decision to pick up the knife/gun is excusable because he was drunk''? I doubt it.

retdetsgt
09-06-09, 10:53 PM
It's virtually impossible to prove entrapment in DUI unless you can show the police officer told you to get in your car and drive away from the area and then arrested you. Otherwise, it can't be done.

The other thing is, driving is a privilege in every state. Not a right. Checking your ability to exercise that privilege via checkpoints or whatever is not an infringement on your rights.

QuestionPoster
09-07-09, 12:02 AM
And, to counter the apologists in CityOfChicago's scenario, I say this: maybe the offender "may" have been too drunk to make the right move and NOT get in the car BUT *(and here's the big "but") that offender was presumably sober when he walked in the bar to begin with and decided to have a drink....So the onus still comes down on the shoulders of the offender without excuse.

As always, it comes down to the person simply being responsible for himself -- as is the case with virtually all types of offenses.

lawduck
09-07-09, 09:49 AM
Sticking a fake deer on the side of the road and arresting the guy for shooting at it is not entrapment.

Leaving a car unlocked with the keys in the ignition on the side of the road is not entrapment when Tommy Turd jumps in and the cops quickly stop him.

A dingy blond police officer acting as a hooker getting approached on the side of the road to have sex isn't entrapment.

Merely affording an opportunity isn't entrapping anyone.

retdetsgt
09-07-09, 11:18 AM
A dingy blond police officer acting as a hooker getting approached on the side of the road to have sex isn't entrapment.



That one can be, but I'm not about to go into how.

Legoate
09-07-09, 05:24 PM
As always, it comes down to the person simply being responsible for himself -- as is the case with virtually all types of offenses.

We will have none of that silly self-responsibility talk here on RP. The majority of our posters will not understand it..... lets continue this thread with blaming others for our behavior, especially the police.;)