Massachusetts State Police hold their officers to very high standards, both while on and off duty. Unfortunately, they are subject to making the same mistakes that civilians are, as one trooper has discovered. Following an alleged night of drinking, the trooper was relieved of duty recently after charges of OUI and having an open container in his vehicle.
He was ordered to be held in lieu of a $1,000 bail at his recent arraignment. This offense was his second offense of OUI liquor, although the first was before he began working with the Massachusetts State Police in 2006. In this case, the officer was supposedly found sleeping in his personal vehicle, which was found running around 2:10 a.m.
Being a police officer does not excuse one when a mistake is made. In fact, most officers would agree that they are held to higher standards then civilians. Still, it is important to understand that when an officer makes a mistake, that Massachusetts law provides that person with the same rights as it does any other accused individual.
If the officer is convicted of the crimes he has been alleged to have committed, the punishment would likely follow the same path as for a civilian. Unlike most OUI cases, however, the officer did not appear to be actually driving the car in question; rather, he was sleeping with the engine running. Attorneys may wish to cite this fact as a mitigating factor in pursuing the man’s defense.
Whatever the result, it is important for members of the community to keep in mind that every person is guaranteed the presumption of innocence in such cases. Defendants are also entitled to present a vigorous defense whenever a criminal case goes to trial.
Source: wickedlocal.com, “State police relieve trooper charged with OUI from duty,” Sept. 21, 2012