Judge erred in throwing out DUI case because of quota

January 12, 2012

I was dismayed to learn that a suspected DUI offender's case was thrown out of court without due process ("Judge throws out DUI case, citing quotas," Jan. 6).

District Court Judge Sue-Ellen Hantman should have allowed the case to go to trial, where any issue of police misconduct could have been adjudicated. The driver's alcohol blood content of .17, which is twice the legal limit, was a serious matter involving public safety, which is why we have a judicial system that is subject to appeals.

The majority of my police career was spent in traffic — 20 years on the street and 19 years as the Baltimore County Police breath test supervisor.

During that time I worked many special operations involving federal grants. We were always held to a strict standard of conduct in these operations, not only by the federal government but by our own agency as well.

Your editorial ("Howard County police and quotas," Jan. 9) noted that the officer involved had probable cause. This is the reason that suspect was pulled over, not a quota.

Working radar on a busy, crowded street is essential for the safety of the public. The probable cause begins with the radar reading of the speed, which is also the probable cause for the stop and the subsequent observation of the suspect by the officer. This is proper police procedures and has nothing to do with quotas.

There is an old saying that goes, don't throw the baby out with the bath water, which quite aptly applies here.

Buzz Beeler, Dundalk

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