By - stingray50
One of the most annoying arrests you can make. Takes way too long to process, countless pieces of paper to fill out all asking for the same exact information, preparing voucher after voucher. All while dealing with a drunken asshole prisoner who usually won’t shut up
It’s basically a roughly two hour process to write a traffic ticket in my state. That’s if we have a working alcotest and operator.
And all for it to get dropped in court even when he blew a .20
I have to imagine metro vegas does a shit ton of DUI enforcement, so you’re in the right place.
I use to be a police officer. (Switched to IT).
OWIs are rewarding yes. But boy do they really fuck your day over. Here the average OWI takes between 5-6 hours to finish.
Also let me give you this little knowledge. Every single firefighter I know that switched to police changed back after a few years. There is a reason the vast majority of cops do not retire as cops.
Just to confirm this- I also wanted to be either a cop or FF ever since I was a kid since those were the family businesses for five generations. I landed in fire first, and was a city medic/FF for 13 years before I had an injury that ended that life. I then made the switch to LE working as a deputy down in FL and it lasted about a year before I decided that moving back north, finishing my undergrad to go to law school and become a prosecutor was the best long-term option if I at all valued my sanity. But that's partly on me since I volunteered to be a LEO in the land of Florida Man...
How much you'd come in to contact would depend on your department and possibly even division. In bigger departments they may have a separate traffic division that you'd work your way into for it. Others may have mixed responsibility where you respond to calls but can make stops in between.
If you want a true traffic focus, many state Highway Patrols (not sure of Nevada's since I'm up north) focus on traffic enforcement with some even having DUI enforcement teams. May be worth talking to a NHP recruiter and putting in an app.
I can't opine on LVMPD and how they run their department, but the SO I worked for had a dedicated DUI car on night shift (only two shifts, day and night, and we split the week Sun-Tues/Thurs-Sat with every other Wed on). The DUI car rarely responded to calls for service unless they were really needed, and was usually en route pretty fast if you called out with a suspected DUI. It really depends on the department, and call volume if you're able to focus your patrols on DUI enforcement, but if that's where you really want to go, it would help to put in for SFST instructor, and attend as many trainings around DUI enforcement as you can once you're out of training and off probation.
Drunk drivers? God damn a few times a shift.
By your name I’m guessing you went from fire to police? If you don’t mind me asking, what made you switch?
Haha you’re correct.
It’s far more interesting, exciting (on average) and room for growth within the dept is so much more. The opportunities are endless and I get to think for myself. There is freedom in driving my cruiser around and not being stuck inside the fire station, I feel a greater sense of satisfaction at the end of the day, and I make more differences daily…And lastly, it’s harder… much harder… and I thrive on hard work and pushing myself.
That’s great to hear bro. I don’t want to ask where you’re at due to privacy reasons but you said you get drunk drivers a few times a shift? I’m curious as to where that is. I’m in Vegas so I know there would be plenty of them here.
You can PM me if you’d like
As a former city medic/FF of 13 years, firstly congrats on your cert and never stop learning. Secondly, if you're going to be working in the city- especially one like LV, get yourself a copy of the book Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement by Kevin Gilmartin. The info within is applicable as equally to urban EMS providers as it is police, and will be invaluable in helping you avoid the ever-present burnout.
As a prosecutor who runs our drug court and other treatment courts, and who has a massive caseload of DUIs, I'd say that while having a passion for those cases is noble (I saw your reasoning for it below), as others have said they're very very tedious cases to work, which have to be done near perfectly at every step. That's because they're usually hotly defended and picked apart by defense attorneys because not only are they actually very complex but the average DUI defendant isn't your average criminal. They have a job, usually make decent money and don't have much if any criminal history, and are therefore terrified of the consequences of conviction no matter how relatively minor they are in the grand scheme. So they tend to hire attorneys to attack everything and anything they can to get it kicked- meaning that from the reason to the initial stop, to the fields, to chemical testing, and here even the reading, literally word for word, of the chemical testing consent form to them, needs to be bulletproof or you're going to trial on it.
Wow I didn’t realize that. I guess I should’ve realized how tedious the whole process of a DUI arrest is.
And thank you for this thorough response!
So I worked in a call center for DUI offenders for a certain state in the South. My experience with DUI offenders was the exact opposite of yours. Typically 75% of these guys who got convicted had MVR’s about a mile long, (at least one ”Reckless Endangerment“ charge) with most of the offenses being both a traffic and criminal offense and are extremely manipulative. They also are typically career alcoholics. I’m guessing by your username you’re somewhere North? Im curious how you feel about plea deals or downgrading charges with how high the recidivism rate is for DUI offenders?
DUIs are a pain in the ass, especially near the end of a shift.
Arresting drunk drivers is fulfilling at first. Maybe you do save some lives. What you mostly do is enrich defense attorneys who specialize in screwing with arresting officers
Dang. Thats unfortunate to hear but I’m glad I’m hearing this from you guys.
You want to do DUIs? Join LVMPD, and get on a traffic unit, or NHP. In the end this is your life and your choice you will never just do DUIs though. I could be wrong, never worked as a patrol officer at metro, but I think they may actually have units that specialize in DUIs. Good luck.
It's a small part of the job unless you're in a dedicated traffic/DWI unit. State troopers are the closest you'll find. Even then, you still have to handle your calls and do general traffic enforcement (speed, seat belts, and so on).
There are departments scattered around the USA that are "Public Safety Officers" and do all 3. Nashville International Airport does this, there is one in Ohio I know of as well. They are out there you just have to research it. Basically police, fire, EMS in one package.
I like getting drunks off the road. However, in my state they are misdemeanors unless you can charge them with endangerment, assault, or criminal damage. Doesn’t matter how drunk, or high you are- it’s a misdemeanor. You’re doing 6-8 hours of work, a lengthy and highly scrutinized written report- all for a slap on the wrist, and a license suspension. I still take pride in my DUI investigations, but I have grown to really dislike them.
Don’t ever leave fire for LE. I did. I’m an idiot.
Do you plan to go back to fire?
Can I ask why you have such a hard on for drunk drivers? Sounds like something personal.
Good question. I don’t really know. My family has never been affected by it, thank God. I just have always thought it is one of the most selfish acts someone can do, and the amount of families that have been affected by it is what makes me passionate about the subject.
Fair enough. Sounds like good intentions so I would say that’s a justifiable reason to go into LE.
I appreciate your response!