Peace Officers Fellowship


Every day, we as law enforcement professionals arrest people for drunk driving. We send them through the booking process, they receive a court date and then a trial is held with the possibility of conviction. Every week, police officers, deputies or highway patrol officers are being arrested, tested, booked, arraigned, tried and possibly convicted for driving under the influence of alcohol. Some personnel are further embarrassed by being arrested by their own law enforcement agency. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department does not tell its employees they cannot drink. The Department does say that each employee will be responsible for their own actions. If you, as a member of the Sheriff’s Department, drink and drive, you are risking the loss of your career. If you are involved in an accident and someone is injured or a death occurs, you could be charged with a felony. If you drink and drive and are caught prior to being involved in an accident, you will be tested, arrested, booked, arraigned, tried and probably convicted. In many courtrooms across America, there are judges who will hand out the stiffest penalties allowed to law enforcement officers because they should have known better. You will have extra bills to pay that you did not budget for. The Department will discipline you for being convicted. Usually there will be days off without pay, and if you receive 10 days off without pay, that is a large chunk of your monthly salary; it is very hard to pay bills with only your partial salary.
There is the expense of the lawyer; there are fines that will have to be paid. There might be a bill for a tow truck. There may be bills to have your vehicle or another person’s vehicle repaired. Sure, you have insurance, but we all have deductibles. There may be hospital bills for yourself or someone else. You may suffer the ultimate humiliation and be jailed.
As a condition of employment for the Sheriff’s Department, you are required to have a valid California driver’s license. If your driver’s license is suspended or revoked, you will not be able to meet one of the conditions of your employment. This could be a serious problem if you are working patrol or transportation. There is a solution, and it’s simple — don’t drink and drive. You cannot suffer any of the above consequences if you don’t drink and drive.
So ask yourself this question: Will my life be better without risky alcohol misuse? It’s time to be proactive. Reach out for help and develop a plan to drink responsibly or be sober. The Psychological Services Bureau (PSB)/Substance Abuse Resource Program (SARP) is a safe, confidential place to start.
This will be one of your best calls to preserve your future success. Call PSB at (213) 738-3500. You can also contact the Peace Officer’s Fellowship members listed here. There is no better time than now!