Last July, a Chattanooga police officer and his girlfriend had gone out for the night. They were riding home on his motorcycle when they came to a stop at a Collegedale intersection. The cop, his girlfriend and the motorcycle all toppled over at the intersection, however, the Times Free Press recently reported.
The article states that the officer’s girlfriend was upset by the incident and refused to get back on the cycle. So he drove home and returned with his pick-up, which is when he was pulled over by a Collegedale police officer – who then told dispatchers that the driver he had pulled over was drunk. The Collegedale cop did the Chattanooga cop a “professional courtesy,” however, and did not arrest him for drunk driving.
In fact, according to the article, Collegedale’s Sgt. Burlon “Scooter” Hayworth not only decided against making a DUI arrest, he gave his fellow officer a ride home.
The Times Free Press reports that after Hayworth pulled the unidentified Chattanooga officer over, he said to the cop and his girlfriend, “You both have alcohol coming off your breath.” He added that he’s “all about the brotherhood, but look what drinking and driving does.”
Hayworth tells the officer that if he doesn’t agree to a field sobriety test, he’ll be arrested. But after the test is completed, the Collegedale officer’s body camera is shut off.
The newspaper reports that Collegedale’s police department has not responded to a number of questions, including why Hayworth didn’t arrest his fellow cop; why he drove the officer home; why the camera was turned off; and why Hayworth didn’t document the encounter.
The Chattanooga officer later told investigators that he was “not at all” impaired when he was pulled over. The Times Free Press didn’t identify the cop because he wasn’t charged and there was no documentation and the Chattanooga Police Department’s internal investigation couldn’t determine that he was drunk.
Clearly, few people are afforded this kind of kid-glove treatment. Those who have been charged with DUI are compelled to deal with the criminal justice system and make their own breaks with the help of an attorney experienced in drunk driving defense.