What was he thinking?


The other night I was trying to get off early when I was sent to a non-injury crash an hour before I was supposed to get off. The call information was that the drivers were arguing and one of them was refusing to exchange information.

When I arrived, I contacted a male, who told me his vehicle was parked in the alley when it was hit by another car. Simple enough, right?

Of course, that plan fell apart because any time you want to get off early something always happens.

I contacted one of the driver’s and could tell he had been drinking. He was also unlicensed. I got his statement and another officer conducted the DUI investigation. In the end, the driver was arrested for DUI and taken to jail.

Here’s the best part of the story. It turned out the DUI guy was the one who didn’t want to exchange information with the victim driver. That was the only reason why the police were called.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

When two DUI drivers crash into each other

A photo I took at one of our DUI check points.

A photo I took at one of our DUI check points.

A common theme of the blog is, “You just can’t make this stuff up.” The other night we had such a call. In fact, the cops on the call were still talking about it tonight.

The story starts out with two friends. We’ll call them Tom and Frank to make it easier. Tom went to visit Frank at his house. Tom and Frank decided to get drunk at the house, which was fine. But rather than stay at Frank’s house where they were safe, they decided to leave and drive in separate cars. You can probably see where this is going already.

Of course, it didn’t matter that they didn’t have driver’s licenses even though they have lived in California for over 10 years.

As they left the house, Frank was in front of Tom. Frank approached a stop sign at a major cross street and stopped. Unfortunately for Tom, he was drunk and his driving ability was about as good as a snake trying to play a piano.

Disaster was moments away for Tom as he was about to achieve Badge415 blog status. He rear ended Frank and rolled over onto his roof, sending glass all over the street. But wait, there’s more……

After the collision, Frank made a U-turn and stopped at Tom’s car. Tom crawled out and jumped into Frank’s car so they could get out of there before the cops showed up.

Frank drove 100 yards down the street to his house and pulled into the driveway. He made a clean get away except for one thing. Frank somehow felt the need to achieve Badge415 blog status also. As he pulled into his driveway he sideswiped his roommate’s truck. Frank was now at fault for the second collision after being the “victim” of the first. Tom was the suspect of the first collision and a passenger in the second.

DUI investigations were conducted on both drivers and they were arrested for driving while under the influence. They went from one house to the Big House all because they chose poorly.

You couldn’t make this story up even if you tried. It was a lot of extra work, but it was worth it. It wouldn’t be a “normal” police shift without some type of craziness to shake things up.

Why is there still a problem with drunk driving?

A photo I took at one of our DUI check points.

A photo I took at one of our DUI check points.

Why is there still a DUI problem?

Last Friday and Saturday night I handled eleven collisions. Six of those were DUI crashes. I even went to a head-on collision involving a DUI driver vs. DUI driver! What are the odds of two DUI drivers finding each other and crashing in the middle of the night? That doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, everyone shakes their head.

On my last call on Saturday night, we were dealing with a driver who rear ended another car. Of course, he had been drinking too. While we were on that call, one of our officers was flagged down by a passing motorist about a person who was passed out behind the wheel. The vehicle was about one hundred yards behind us at the next intersection. That driver was also DUI. At least he didn’t crash into our police cars.

At the end of my shift on Saturday, I wondered what was going on. How come the message about drinking and driving was still falling on deaf ears? With all of the information and awareness out there about drunk driving, it’s hard to believe we still have such a problem.

I also wondered if people really knew how big of a DUI problem we still have. At least I think there’s still a problem based on what I see at work every night.

Here’s something to think about. I have a running log of every accident report I’ve ever taken since I started working as a collision investigator in January of 1999. On average, 1 out of every 3 crashes I take is a DUI collision. Sometimes it’s 1 out of every 4. No matter what, it’s been the same numbers year after year.

I’m at 5,800 collisions in my career. Do the math. That’s pretty scary If you think about it.

If you’re one of those people who drink and drive, you should think about this.

No DUI driver ever expected to get arrested. No one thinks they’re going to crash and end up in jail. No DUI driver ever thought they would kill someone, but it happens every day. No one thinks it’s going to happen to them.

Let me say that again……

No one thinks it’s going to happen to them.


Well, I have news for you. It happens more often than you think.

So, if you’re one of those guys who go out drinking, give us all a break and take a cab or use a designated driver. It’s easier for everyone, including the collision investigator.

And make sure your designated driver hasn’t been drinking too. I’ve taken a few crashes where the designated driver was DUI when they crashed. It always makes for a good story when that happens.

Remember, the designated driver is supposed to be the guy who didn’t drink at all. It’s not supposed to be the guy who was less drunk than his friends.

Be smart people. Your life and our lives depend on it.

Just Call Her Poopy Pants


There’s one thing for sure about this job. We see people at their worst. At their lowest of lows. At rock bottom. We see them at their Poopy Pants worst.

Some of this is self-inflicted. Some of it is just bad luck. The self-inflicted stuff is where the comedy of this profession comes out. It’s where some of the best stories come from. It’s where you stand there and say, “I can’t believe I just saw that.” Last Friday night will go down in history as one of the most unusual stories from a collision scene I have ever witnessed.

An injury traffic collision went out at about 2:15AM involving a vehicle that struck a pole. This is a pretty typical call for that time of the night so I didn’t think anything of it.

I drove down the street and saw a pole imbedded into the front of a car. An ambulance just arrived and there was another patrol car there. I got out of my car and walked up to an officer. He pointed to the crashed car and said, “She’s taking a dump on the sidewalk.”

Now, that’s not something you hear every day.

I looked over to the car and saw the passenger door open with a woman squatting down on the edge of the vehicle next to the seat. She was partially blocked by ambulance personnel.

I walked up and saw her pajama pants pulled down to her knees and there was a pile of you know what right underneath her. There was a strong odor of a person who had been drinking and who had just left a “number two” on the sidewalk. I have seen many people pee and vomit themselves while drunk, but this took it to an entirely new level.

Did I mention she was six months pregnant and unlicensed?

You just can’t make this stuff up.

When the tow truck driver arrived I pointed out the mess because I didn’t want him to step in it. The tow driver looked at it and said he didn’t want poop on the bed of his truck. I found it funny he was worried about that. Never mind all of the cars that have leaked hazardous fluids onto his flatbed tow truck in the past? Now he was worried about a little number two.

The tow truck driver then did his best to maneuver the front of the vehicle around the pile of poop with the skill of an artist painting a masterpiece. Instead of paint and brushes, he tugged and pulled with the cable and used a shim under one of the tires as the vehicle turned. Once the right front tire cleared the pile he completed the job and I left.

As I drove away I couldn’t help laughing and thinking how this woman was SOL (shit out of luck). I also remembered what a shitty job this was. And most of all, you also can’t make this shit up (I couldn’t resist).

The 15 year old drunk driver


I set a new record last week.

But this isn’t a record that you would want. It’s another one of those stories where I say to myself, “Just when I thought I’d seen it all….”

It’s not every night someone steals a water truck from a construction site. I’m not even sure why someone would do that. Wouldn’t it be easier to steal a regular car that didn’t stick out like a sore thumb?

One this is for sure. No one ever said bad guys were smart.

It all started when an anonymous person called the police on Wednesday night to report a construction truck driving around in the park at 12:30AM. The caller heard a loud noise and didn’t know if anything was hit.

When the officers arrived in the area they saw a water truck swerving as it went down the road just a few hundred yards from the park. Within a few seconds the water truck crashed and the occupants ran.

After they were taken into custody a sergeant asked for a traffic unit. He said there were “a couple” of parked cars that were hit. When he said “a couple” I assumed it was two cars. That’s no big deal since it happens all the time.

When I arrived, I was surprised to see a water truck in the front yard at the corner. There were damaged and disabled cars everywhere for a grand total of eight, including the water truck.

This definitely wasn’t something you see every day.

The first victim vehicle was a Prius. Now, try to imagine what a large water truck can do to a Prius when it’s being driven by a 15 year old drunk driver. Let’s just say the Prius got treated like the redheaded stepchild who got stuffed into his locker by a bunch of high school football players.

The Prius was broadsided by the water truck and then crashed into the car that was parked in front of it. This spun the Prius around and forced it onto the sidewalk where it became a giant paper weight. Two more parked cars were hit on the street after that.

After treating the Prius like a dirty girlfriend, the water truck ended up in the front yard of a house and crashed into three cars in the driveway.

The three cars in the driveway belonged to one family and had extensive damage. Two of those cars had damage to both sides after being sandwiched together from the impact.

There were a grand total of 7 points of impact in this scene of destruction.

Then the officers told me there was another collision scene located at the baseball field where the original call went out. What the heck?

I had never taken a traffic collision at a baseball field before. So, why not add that to my list of firsts.

It turned out our gang member suspect, who is on probation, was doing donuts in the infield at the park. After that he drove behind the backstop and crashed into the dugout on the first base side, which was now a twisted mess of metal.

This 15 year old has the honor of being the youngest DUI driver I have ever seen. I’m sure there are others who have arrested younger DUI drivers, but this was my new record.

At the scene, the suspect showed no remorse. Not one ounce of regret for the damage he caused or the lives he put in danger by driving that truck while drunk. He was just a mean drunk who yelled at the cops from the backseat of the patrol car and wouldn’t even tell us his name. He just didn’t care.

This was just another example of the people out there who don’t care about the rules or laws and have no regard for the rest of us normal people, who work hard for what we have.

Even the little league baseball players are going to be affected because their field has no dugout now.

What a dick.