Monday, November 21, 2011

The Problem with Transparency in Government

The city council decided to "get tough on drunk drivers" and passed a resolution authorizing the police chief to hire a new part-time officer.  The local media reported that the sole purpose of this new position within the police department was to crack down on drunk drivers on Friday and Saturday nights.  When a part-time officer was finally hired, the newspapers reported that he would start working this Friday and Saturday night.  

On his first night on patrol, the new officer staked out a local night spot with a longstanding reputation for its high number of DUI violators.   Ten minutes before closing time, the officer saw a man stumble out of the front door of the bar and then trip on the sidewalk and fall face down.  After laying on the sidewalk for several minutes, the man finally picked himself up and wobbled towards the parking lot.

Once in the parking lot, the man fumbled for several minutes to locate his keys.  He then tried to open five different cars before finding the one his keys would  open. 
Meanwhile, other patrons were leaving the bar and were driving off, but the officer stayed with his man.

After several minutes of trying to start his car, the driver finally got it in gear and pulled it out of the parking lot.  The new officer immediately turned on his lights and siren and pulled the driver over.   Because the officer had witnessed this man’s actions, he didn't waste time with a field sobriety test.  Instead he proceeded right to the breathalyzer to capture the man’s blood-alcohol content.  

Amazingly, the results of the man's blood alcohol came up with a 0.0 reading.  Puzzled, the officer demanded to know how this could be.  He witnessed the man stagger, fall and fumble.  
"It’s easy," replied the driver.  "We have all read the paper over the past few months and know that the city  hired a new DUI officer.  We also saw on the news tonight that today was going to be the officer's first night on duty so we drew straws and I lost.  I had to be the designated decoy tonight."

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