Drunk driving and excessive drinking are topics that receive disapproval at Caffeinated Politics. When cases of simply outlandish over-the-top and unacceptable behavior make the news about the intoxicated it at times makes for a post here, too.
The news from Hennepin County that Sheriff David Hutchinson was drunk, driving more than 120 miles per hour, and did not have his seat belt on when he crashed his official SUV on Interstate 94 east of Alexandria gets more and more troubling.
When law enforcement arrived he informed them he was not driving. But he was still possessing his gun. Well, thank God, he might have needed to shoot that offending bottle of liquor that had demanded its way down the officer’s throat!
Law enforcement has enough baggage to carry on the average day than to have this embarrassment added to their overall narrative. Obviously, this is not reflective of the folks who wear blue. But it does add to the smearing connotation of officers who step up and serve. And that rankles at this desk.
After what must be a career-ending spectacle comes news that video from body-worn cameras worn by sheriff’s deputies during their response during the alcohol-induced crash can not be made available at this time. The reason is that under Minnesota law the subject, in this case, Hutchinson, must give consent to the release of the body-cam video.
The drunk has not yet given that consent.
The story, though, gets one better. He wants to stay on the job!
Hutchinson was elected to a four-year term as sheriff in 2018. He defeated longtime incumbent Rich Stanek by 2,340 votes. He told the local powerhouse of a newspaper, the Star Tribune, which CP loves, that “getting sober has helped me regain my drive to serve the people of Hennepin County to the best of my ability. I have a lot more to give.“
That is precisely what concerns people.
No one was killed in this crash. But David Hutchinson should not have access to a police vehicle so to try again.
And so it goes.