The Chicago Tribune reported on February 27th that a former, now retired, Des Plains police commander accused of padding DUI arrests to obtain federal grant money was arraigned in federal court.
According to the report, Timothy Veit, 55, the retired police commander involved, purportedly had falsely inflated DUI arrest numbers by 122 arrests over the three year period from 2009 to 2012 to “fraudulently obtain” $132,893 in grant money from the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Veit allegedly went so far in his reporting as to provide fake BAC levels for the “fictitious” arrests he reported. The arrests were purportedly inflated to meet requirements that one DUI arrest be made for every 10 hours of overtime work put in by officers in this program.
Veit had himself been paid $25,603 in overtime in 2011, $11,530 in 2010, and $3,042 in 2009, although it was unclear, the Tribune reported, how much, if any, of the overtime money came from this DUI program.
In Indianapolis, our officers on this, or a similar federally funded program, regularly testify that they must make a certain number of stops, and one OWI (DUI) arrest in every eight (8) hours of overtime work to justify the time and one-half (1 ½) hourly rate they are paid to search for DUI drivers. The question for judges and juries is this, to what lengths will individual officers go to make the DUI arrests necessary to justify making time and one-half of their normal hourly rate in overtime?
One Indiana Court has written as follows on the subject:
. . . [A] program that conditions funding on officers either citing or arresting drivers at a certain rate causes us concern, as the motivation for fabrication or unreasonable citations or arrests is obvious.” Schumm v. State, 866 N.E.2d 781, 786 fn.1, (Ind.Ct.App.2007), rehearing granted 868 N.E.2d 1202 (Ind.Ct.App.2007).
So should it be obvious to all.
If you have a OWI (DUI) question in Indiana or Indianapolis, call me — J. J. Paul, III — at 317-632-4463, contact me by email at email@example.com, or visit our website at www.vzplaw.com.