The Disappearing DUI: A conversation wit...
 
11:57
Jen Eyer: 
Welcome everyone! We'll get right started here.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 11:57 Jen Eyer
11:58
John Barnes: 
Hello all!
Wednesday September 12, 2012 11:58 John Barnes
11:59
John Barnes: 
Thanks all for attending today's live chat.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 11:59 John Barnes
11:59
John Barnes: 
We're hear to discuss this week's Disappearing DUI series.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 11:59 John Barnes
12:01
Officer Bove: 
Hello everyone
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:01 Officer Bove
12:01
Deputy Chief Bazick: 
Hello everyone. I'm Greg Bazick, Deputy Chief at the Ann Arbor Police Department. I'll be participating today in this forum along with my colleague from East Lansing PD.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:01 Deputy Chief Bazick
12:01
Jen Eyer: 
We have Officer Bove from the East Lansing police dept. with us, and Ann Arbor deputy chief Greg Bazick.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:01 Jen Eyer
12:01
John Barnes: 
MLive obtained information from a state police database on more than 275,000 DUI arrests. From there we were able to determine arrest rates per officer, using manpower numbers for more than 500 police agencies.

We also created a database comparing new cases in more than 100 court jurisdictions to the driving age population.

Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:01 John Barnes
12:02
John Barnes: 

There were a number of findings. One was how uneven DUI enforcement is across the state.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:02 John Barnes
12:03
John Barnes: 
Officer Bove, you 111 arrests last year - more than many larger cities. How does that happen?
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:03 John Barnes
12:04
Jen Eyer: 
We got this question from a reader, who was interested in the fact that Bove had more DUI arrests last year than the entire Ann Arbor force combined: Everyone would like to know more about how Officer Bove operates. That information was exactly what was left out of this article in order to paint the picture exactly the way you interpreted it. Seems like an almost intentional omission, no discussion about what he considers to be cause to make a stop, or what percentage of those that he stops are dui. I call it incomplete and irresponsible reporting. You may be right, that he might be abusing the system, or I think he may be saving innocent lives. Until people have had loved ones crippled or killed, the liberal attitude driven freedom to entertain oneself with these addictions seems to be more important than anything.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:04 Jen Eyer
12:05
Jen Eyer: 
While Officer Bove is typing, I'll post another question.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:05 Jen Eyer
12:05
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
It's an interesting question. What do you think the main contributing factors are and do you think the leniency of laws on marjianna in Ann Arbor are one of the factors. Kinda of a thought process of we can do this legally so we don't drink and drive.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:05 Guest
12:06
[Comment From Maxwell Lazaroff, SalineMaxwell Lazaroff, Saline: ] 
Is that database publicly available?
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:06 Maxwell Lazaroff, Saline
12:07
John Barnes: 
Yes it is Max. Here's a link. http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/09/the_disappearing_dui_see_how_p.html
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:07 John Barnes
12:08
Deputy Chief Bazick: 
I don't think there is any correlation between marijuana laws, their enforcement and DUI enforcement.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:08 Deputy Chief Bazick
12:08
John Barnes: 
You can find information on arrests by more than 500 agencies.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:08 John Barnes
12:08
[Comment From Maxwell Lazaroff, SalineMaxwell Lazaroff, Saline: ] 
Thank you!
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:08 Maxwell Lazaroff, Saline
12:08
Officer Bove: 
I wouldnt say there is anything I do different then any other police officer, as a general patrol officer, I am looking for traffic stops, when I am not on a dispatched call. When a stop is made for speed, improper lane use or any other traffic violations, I make contact with the driver and some have been drinking.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:08 Officer Bove
12:09
Deputy Chief Bazick: 
For the readers...I'm not a speed-typer so please be patient as you await a response from me.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:09 Deputy Chief Bazick
12:10
Officer Bove: 
I am in the same boat as the Deputy Chief
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:10 Officer Bove
12:10
Jen Eyer: 
Here's another reader question for Officer Bove: On another note, I'd like to know more about E Lansing Officer Travis Bove. Has he lost a loved one to drunk driving? Is he a young hard-charger making a name for himself and lots of overtime $$$$, or is he a veteran closing in on his retirement who is upping his average last xxx year's pay to boost his yearly retirement pension amount?
Betcha he pulls in well in excess of $100,000 per year in salary/overtime/court time.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:10 Jen Eyer
12:12
John Barnes: 
Chief Bazick: Your department had about 100 arrests last year, compared to about 600 in East Lansing. Why do you think there is such a wide disparity?
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:12 John Barnes
12:14
Officer Bove: 
My uncle was killed by a drunk driver when he was 18 years old, well before I was born. I dont carry that with anything I do at work. I have been a police officer for seven years. The money aspect as far as overtime has nothing to do with work. There are overtime shifts for OWI enforcement however that can go to any officer.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:14 Officer Bove
12:14
[Comment From DaveDave: ] 
A nephew of mine was just pulled over (thankfully) while drinking and driving and evidential met the superdrunk criteria (0.19). It was a first offense, but he was able to plead not guilty to that and received a lesser charge. Why was that allowed to happen?I love my nephew, but what's the point of the laws if the courts don't stick to the original charge?
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:14 Dave
12:14
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Officer Bove, How much time do you spend on traffic stops versus responding to calls?
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:14 Guest
12:15
[Comment From AKAK: ] 
Do you use these "speed, improper lane us or any other traffic violations" as an excuse to pull someone over? Just because you may be suspicious?
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:15 AK
12:16
[Comment From GeoffGeoff: ] 
Do you think that the disparity in arrests has anything to do with Ann Arbor's greater walkability? Since student housing is closer to bars/restaurants, maybe it's that people don't drive to them, and then don't try to drive home after they've had too much to drink
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:16 Geoff
12:17
Deputy Chief Bazick: 
I'm not entirely certain, John. Before the article series ran we had not been comparing DUI enforcement statistics with other police departments. My initial thought is that there is a difference in deployment of personnel and because call load is unpredictable from minute to minute more detailed analysis of contributing variables would need to occur to get a clearer picture of what may account for the difference.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:17 Deputy Chief Bazick
12:17
Officer Bove: 
That all depends on what day of the week it is, time of the year etc... There are nights where I will only make one stop because I am going from dispatched call to dispatched call. Then there are nights where I only have a few dispatched calls and many more traffic stops
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:17 Officer Bove
12:18
[Comment From MarkMark: ] 
Why was the charge reduced for the DUI for the Michigan football player? Not a good message to the community....get drunk....drive...get pulled over....get charges dropped. What a joke!!!
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:18 Mark
12:18
Jen Eyer: 
Mark, which case are you referring to?
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:18 Jen Eyer
12:18
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
If a person is parked, car running, not moving can you still get a dui?
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:18 Guest
12:19
Officer Bove: 
Any traffic violation is a reason to pull someone over, these are traffic laws.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:19 Officer Bove
12:20
Jen Eyer: 
Guest, the officers are discussing your question. It's a complex issue. Hang on.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:20 Jen Eyer
12:20
[Comment From StephanieStephanie: ] 
I think officers such as Travis Bove should be congratulated. What he did was potentially save the lives of lots of people from those who make a CHOICE to drink and drive. As somebody who works with many victims of drunk driving crashes, I can tell you not one person has been comforted by the fact that the drunk driver didn't mean to harm somebody else. The fact is that drinking and driving is illegal and I salute ANY officer who puts a priority on saving lives!
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:20 Stephanie
12:21
[Comment From Colleen StoneColleen Stone: ] 
Lots of folks point to the walkability of Ann Arbor (which I can attest to), but I wonder if that's really it.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:21 Colleen Stone
12:21
[Comment From Superior Twp VoterSuperior Twp Voter: ] 
Folks, we're not here to address plea deals/sentencing, etc!
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:21 Superior Twp Voter
12:21
[Comment From KarlKarl: ] 
Office Bove, of your 111 stops what percentage actually met the criteria for a DUI? Also for either officer, why is there a legal limit of .08 if you can still get a ticket for being under that limit?
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:21 Karl
12:22
[Comment From GeoffGeoff: ] 
I think Mark is referring to the Fitz Toussaint case, where the charges were lowered from OWI to OWVI. And the police don't have anything to do with a plea agreement negotiated with the DA.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:22 Geoff
12:22
John Barnes: 
Walkability may be part of it, but I also found it interesting all of Washtenaw County has a low DUI arrest rate.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:22 John Barnes
12:22
[Comment From Superior Twp VoterSuperior Twp Voter: ] 
A factor of the disparity that occurs to me is the difference between police patrol areas. i.e. City of ANN ARBOR /UM campus area = friendly to hoofing and congested, versus vicinity of MSU Campus/E Lansing more spread-out and expansive.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:22 Superior Twp Voter
12:23
Officer Bove: 
All had cause for arrest. all 111 were arrested for OWI. .08 is the legal limit for arrest, it is .08 and above till you get to .17 then it is super drunk driving
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:23 Officer Bove
12:24
[Comment From MaynardMaynard: ] 
The National Motorists Association says impaired driving begins at .12 BAC. Do you believe that the .08 BAC level is appropriately set and reflects real impairment behind the wheel? Or do you think the change from .10 to .08 was politically motivated or aimed at increasing revenue for the state?
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:24 Maynard
12:24
[Comment From the judgethe judge: ] 
do they have any idea how a DUI messes up a poor persons life? living pay check to pay check, it is devastating. DUI used to be 1.5
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:24 the judge
12:25
Deputy Chief Bazick: 
Regarding the question about the parked car scenario...An Officer could arrest depending on the circumstances. The ultimate decision on charging an individual with a crime and furthering it through the criminal justice system lies with a prosecutor or city attorney.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:25 Deputy Chief Bazick
12:25
Jen Eyer: 
Great questions, folks! I'm funneling them according to topic.
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:25 Jen Eyer
12:25
John Barnes: 
Just another finding for our visitors to chew over: One finding we are seeing statewide is that the percent of ‘super drunks’ is rising. Last year they accounted for 44 percent of driver’s over the 0.08 legal limit. That’s up from 40.5 percent in 2006. One driver this year was a 0.49!
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:25 John Barnes
12:26
John Barnes: 
Here's a list of the 100 drunkest drivers so far this year. http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/09/super_super_drunks_see_where_t_1.html
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:26 John Barnes
12:26
Officer Bove: 
I only enforce what the current law is, we need to show there is impairment. I believe the laws were set in place to keep the public safe not to increase money
Wednesday September 12, 2012 12:26 Officer Bove
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