Reporting a possible DUI

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Alexb2000, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. Alexb2000

    Alexb2000 En-Route

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    Friday night my wife and I are coming back from a movie. We pull up to a light and in the lane next to us a Camry comes to a sliding stop out into the middle of the intersection almost t-boning crossing traffic. The buy definitely had his foot in that Camry because he skidded about 200'. So he tries to backup out of the intersection. He can't do it, jacks the car sideways and just sits there. Light turns green and he floors it again, going up on the median in the process. We are following him going 50 in a 40 and he is leaving us in the dust.

    I have never called the FAA on any pilot or for any other reason, I don't call the city on my neighbors, etc., but I was very worried this guy was going to kill someone.

    So I call 911. I explain that I am following a possible DUI. As we are talking we cross from one city into another. She transfers me to my cities 911 operator. I don't think the operator in my city realized I could hear the conversation. She says, "I don't have time for this". "I've got a disturbance call right now, so I'll just put them on hold". That's what happened, I sat on hold for 5 minutes, the other driver sped off at about 100 MPH ran at least one red light, and I eventually hung up.


    It all just seems so crazy given all the "talk" about DUI crackdowns.
     
  2. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I understand the dispatcher's decision. Given limited resources, I likely would have done the same if I were in her position.

    The dispatcher apparently decided that the risk of harm coming to a person was greater for a known disturbance than a suspected DWI; and statistically speaking, she was right. Whether by the grace of God, or just dumb luck, the vast majority of drunk drivers will not get into an accident during any particular trip, and even fewer will injure or kill anyone. It's not that those things don't happen, but rather that the chances are against them happening during any particular trip.

    -Rich
     
  3. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    "Workload permitting" I suppose. :confused:
     
  4. TheTraveler

    TheTraveler Line Up and Wait

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    I don't get involved in other people's business, but I have called in possible DUI's in the past. Four times in the Atlanta area.

    When I've got my wife and months-old child in the car and come within close proximity of a possible DUI, of course I'm going to call, and get away from that suspected car.

    I've always called the non-emergency number and gotten very fast service. I don't know if I've been lucky with this, but it's always worked.
     
  5. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    Similar thing happened to me twice. Once while driving to the movies and another time entering a military base! Both times my concerns were met with indifference. The MP on the airbase actually said to me, "and what do you want me to do about it?'
     
  6. snowbird

    snowbird Pre-takeoff checklist

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    On a Sunday afternoon drive home from the airport with the family we were passed by a couple of drunks in a Camero weaving and throwing beer bottles out the window. I followed at a safe distance and called 911. The dispatcher thanked me and said they had been looking for that car all weekend. I gave position reports as the original dispatcher transferred me to the local police dispatcher when we entered the city. Three cruisers pulled the Camero over.
    Up here DUI is a Criminal Code offence (felony) perhaps giving it more importance than in the US.
     
  7. John Baker

    John Baker Final Approach

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    Many years ago, before cellphones were even on a drawing board, I followed an obviously smashed out of her scull woman about three miles, all the way to her driveway. She was all over the road, ignoring lights and stop signs. How she drove all that distance without at least sideswiping a parked car was pretty astounding, considering her inability to control her car.

    My thinking was there was little I could do other than to serve as a witness on some hapless persons behalf should she had nailed anyone.

    Myself, I do not much care for ratting anyone out, however, drunk or drugged drivers are a different matter altogether. I would feel real bad if anyone was killed simply because I wasn't in the mood to deal with 911. Just by giving it a shot would take care of any guilt I might have felt had I not.

    -John
     
  8. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I think what it really tells me is that the DFW area could make an argument for more 911 operators.
     
  9. Alexb2000

    Alexb2000 En-Route

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    Coppell pays the highest taxes in the State of Texas. They max out the amount charged under law and disallow any of our common tax deductions. We have about 10 fire stations with less than a handful of fires a year. All the cops (we have a lot) drive brand new Tahoe's and are sitting on every corner during rush hour ticketing people. BUT on a Friday night we can't afford a second 911 operator or make a deal with another city to take our overflow.

    Suburban government incompetence and lip service about what's important IMO. Think about this, ONE disturbance call, probably because someone was making too much noise took out our emergency response system.
     
  10. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Definitely sounds like they're screwing up on the budget. Focus on the outward "what looks like it's doing something", ignore on the actually doing something.
     
  11. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    When I was young (college age)my brother and I were following a guy once who was all over the road he pulled into a parking lot and we pulled up and talked to him. It was an older guy obviously had too many to drink. I offered to drive him home so I drove his car and my brother followed us. When I dropped him off his wife came out shaking her head. Don't know if that was the right decision or if I should have called the cops to deal with it but at least he got home safely and so did everyone else at least that day.
     
  12. willywildes

    willywildes Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I also have called and got the same treatment couldn't care less,thanked me for calling.
     
  13. DeeG

    DeeG Cleared for Takeoff

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    If your city only has a single call taker/dispatcher on duty on a Friday night, I'm going to hazard a guess that your city only has three-five officers on duty. I don't know the specifics about the disturbance (how many involved, if there were weapons involved, etc) but I'm also going to guess that every one of the officers were dealing with the disturbance, leaving no one to handle your complaint.

    What she should have done was taken 20 seconds to get the info, told you she would advise the officers and thanked you. I don't care how busy you are, you NEVER brush stuff off like that. Especially on a recorded line. Been there, done that, still do that. Get the info to the sgt, cpl or whoever is the supervisor and let them make the decision whether or not to respond. It isn't the dispatchers job to decide. :nono:

    I find that even if I have officers/deputies available, the chances of finding these clowns is slim. By the time you get the info, give to the field and they head in that direction, the vehicle is either long gone or parked. Once in a while we get lucky, but not very often. Still doesn't excuse what she did.
     
  14. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Here in Colorado *CSP on the cellphone connects one with a Colorado State Patrol dispatcher. I've called a couple of times to report dangerous drivers. They do respond when manpower is available. In one case the dangerous driver was a local route delivery guy and he slowed down after the call. I suspect others also called because his driving was overly aggressive (speeding, passing in no-passing zones, tailgating, left of center on curves - things of that nature)
     
  15. ARFlyer

    ARFlyer En-Route

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    I've called the State Police on a 18-Wheeler weaving and almost side swiping other drivers. The response I heard over my scanner was about the same as yours. I was disgusted cause I knew this guy was going to hurt someone.

    It finally came down to some other truckers, who noticed, and "politely" forced him off the interstate at the next rest stop.

    I have noticed that truckers often take care of the idiot drivers before the police show up.
     
  16. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Can't really call anyone on the bike. Just thankful to Odin that I bought a super bike when I come across these clowns.

    The ones who try to murder me usually aren't even drunk, just lost or screened. Same difference, really.
     
  17. Doggtyred

    Doggtyred En-Route

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    Keep in mind that she was probably sending multiple officers to a known disturbance/fight.. she prioritized…

    As crappy as it sounds, the last thing they want is a civilian pursuit (and while you may not be the type to do that, they don't know it on the phone)…

    I've dropped a dime on stuff like this in the past.. maybe 4-5 times in 20 plus years. My experience? The big cities? They don't give a damn. And as soon as you cross any kind of jurisdictional boundary they give you the heave ho. The smaller towns? Well.. two different times, two phone calls, two in custody DWI, and I was on the phone less than 2 minutes each time.. One time was in my fire dept ricky rescue days, and I had a police/fire band radio… and had the back channel to the local sheriffs office in it.

    Wasn't exactly legal me calling up on their chat-channel, but we put one drunk gang member driver and 3 drunk gang member juveniles in jail that night. I knew the driver personally… and sweated the possibility of retribution for a few years. Turns out he was so drunk he had no idea what happened, just that 5 cop cars came out of nowhere and ruined his day.
     
  18. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    We were sideswiped years ago by what was probably a drunk driver. Sideswiped may be nice. He was in a lifted pickup truck and drove clear over the right front fender at 65 MPH. I'm still amazed I was driving (Karen's car) and it worked out that I didn't lose control of the car at that speed with someone driving over the fender. The crazy driver also almost bought it but was drink enough he didn't over control the multiple fishtails in front of us.

    Anyway, followed him and called 911. I was in an area of north Denver where the Interstate crossed four jurisdictional boundaries and no CSP in the area. Transferred multiple times, the guy finally exited at 84th Ave, ran a red light and escaped. I pulled over and waited 15 minutes to make a report to an officer.

    Since then, Denver Metro agencies have added "Metronet" channels on the various trunked and mixed analog and digital systems, for Interoperability, and don't need to transfer from dispatcher to dispatcher in overlap areas. Better than it was back then.
     
  19. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've only had to call for something like that once. Some guy was going the wrong way down the exit ramp onto the interstate. Luckily he got hung up on the shoulder, or it could've been really nasty. The cops showed up in just a couple of minutes. And yes, they got him.
     
  20. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I called once, using Onstar on the Taconic State Parkway. I actually didn't think the driver (an older lady) was drunk so much as confused, or maybe night blind. She wasn't swerving, but she was accelerating, decelerating almost to a stop, changing lanes side to side (but signalling and doing it accurately, not swerving or drifting), and otherwise driving erratically, with apparent reasons behind her actions.

    The State Police dispatcher kept me on the line until they pulled her over, and asked me to pull over behind them and stand by once they did. Presumably they wanted me as a witness in the event she was drunk. But she wasn't. She said was terrified of hitting a deer, and I guess her eyes played tricks on her in the dark, conjuring up deer behind every bush, tree, and rock.

    The police encouraged her to stay at a local motel until morning. I don't know if she took their advice.

    -Rich
     
  21. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Years ago I was following a guy and his wife in a VW bug.. They CLEARLY were drunk.... This was before cell phones... I motioned them to pull into a parking lot. I chatted with them and suggested they park their car and call a cab... They said , Naw... we just live another 5 miles up the road... I politey reached in and took the keys out of the ignition and threw them into a bunch of sticker bushes and I drove off.. I figured by the time they found the keys they would be sober enough to drive....:yes::idea:
     
  22. TheTraveler

    TheTraveler Line Up and Wait

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    :rofl: Great post, I've wanted to do that to people who weren't drunk!

    Reminds me of 00:13-00:25 of this commercial which I absolutely love...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syoJk0ts2m0
     
  23. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach

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    Alex, the police are not interested in catching DUI drivers unless they are able to compromise our fourth amendment rights in the process via a checkpoint.

    Next time try saying something like "I think this guy is driving drunk. He looks like he might not consent to a search".

    That'll do it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  24. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Next time, embellish slightly. Reminds of of the joke:

    Dispatch: "911, what is your emergency?"

    Homeowner: "There's a man stealing stuff out of our back shed, can you send someone out?"

    Dispatch: "I'm sorry we won't have any units available for 45 minutes."

    Homeowner: "OK, I'll call back."

    (2 minutes later)

    Dispatch: "911, what is your emergency?"

    Homeowner: "That man that was stealing from our shed, don't worry about it. I shot him, send someone when you can to get the body."

    (3 minutes later four units show up to find the man still looting the shed.)

    Officer: "I thought you said you shot the man and there was a body."

    Homeowner: "I thought you said no one was available for another 45 minutes."