Florida Law Enforcement Employees Paid To Get Drunk

Florida police drunk on the jobIt's rare for employers to allow workers to drink alcohol on the job. But in Florida, state employees not only imbibed while on the clock -- they got drunk and were paid to do it.

The incident, reported by the Sarasota Herald Tribune earlier this week, was part of a "study" that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement undertook last October. The state's chief investigative body doled out $330 for alcohol, mixers and some Doritos and then invited 15 employees to the agency's Tallahassee headquarters to test the accuracy of a possibly faulty breathalyzer.

As a video camera rolled, agency staff, including Capitol Police officers, drank up and then blew into the device, known as the Intoxilyzer 8000. The aim behind the study, which cost $8,000 and was pulled together in three days, was to clear the machine's reputation.

An earlier investigation revealed that many flawed machines were in use through the state, and that alcohol-test results from some 100 cases in Sarasota and Manatee counties were thrown out as a result of the probe.

After the employees blew into the device, their blood was drawn and sent to a lab for tests.

Results from the study were presented to a court in December in an effort on the part of the agency to keep the devices in use in the two counties, the newspaper reported.

But the department's efforts may have been in vain. Judges deciding the fate of the Intoxilyzer 8000 appeared skeptical of considering the study.

The Herald Tribune reported in October that flawed machines were used across Florida for years, sometimes providing impossible results about how much breath was blown into them.

The judges' ruling on the fate of the machines is expected any day.



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David Schepp

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David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.

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Bobby Quezada

now thats funny .

January 22 2012 at 10:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
eareadjr

Drunks write, administer, and enforce drug laws. Why should the potent, dangerous, destructive, and addictive drug alcohol be legal? Drunks should not be allowed to write drug laws. They are not sober enough to do so. Legalize marijuana today and reduce the incidence of alcoholism. The world will be a safer place.

January 21 2012 at 3:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
eareadjr

Drunks write, administer, and enforce drug laws. Why should the potent, dangerous, destructive, and addictive drug alcohol be legal? Drunks should not be allowed to write drug laws. They are not sober enough to do so. Legalize marijuana today and reduce the incidence of alcoholism. The world will be a safer place.

January 21 2012 at 3:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
volker19831

COPS DRUNK, WHAT STRANGE ABOUT THAT, THAT THINK THEY ARE GOD. COULD GET IT UP IT OUT THERE GUN.

January 21 2012 at 2:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Avice

Somebody did a study for only $8,000? That's the amazing part of this.

January 21 2012 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bane

Another waste of taxpayers' dollars. Most of these people who tested would probably do it without pay on their regular hours. They wouldn't have had to be paid anything extra !!!

January 21 2012 at 1:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
leodeputy

Paying the employees is a common practice. We use volunteers from our department. To train new deputies , and officers on how to test and what to look for. Their blood alcohol level is checked every thirty min.. And once you are hit .018 or above you are done. you are are check out for an hour and then you go to your home. The voluntees do no driving what so ever! They are pickup and when done they are driven home.

January 21 2012 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike Hulgin

The way that States Blow money, why didn't they just buya New Machine ? These People are as Stupid as Stupid gets !

January 21 2012 at 1:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mike Hulgin's comment
David Amaya

Not AS sutpid as you think, they needed to keep the old mechines in service otherwise the judge could say "By replacing a machine, that was reported to be in good working condition, I have no choice but to render ALL DD convictions null for all charges brought with the flawed results of the Intoxilyzer 8000 machines. ALL PENDING cases using this device are hereby THROWN OUT!"

the Counties are trying to keep their convictions, and if they loose enough, what other faulty equipment are the police using (*Read Speeders get their convictions thrown out and the state sued for anyone who had to pay higher insurance as a result of a traffic conviction.)

January 21 2012 at 2:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
invmartyc

What would the alternative be to get test subjects? Maybe go find some homeless drunks and give them booze?

January 21 2012 at 1:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ilovestevetindle

this guy has something else going on besides being intoxicated , i feel sorry for the guy, and acholisim is a disease, people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

January 21 2012 at 12:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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