In Chesterfield, Missouri, Driving So Drunk You Pee Your Pants = Illegal Parking Citation

A Patch columnist spins a tale sure to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck:

I filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office about Chesterfield refusing to release a 2011 arrest report, incident and accident reports of ex-sports announcer Dan McLaughlin, as required by state law. McLaughlin was arrested DWI in Chesterfield, twice.

I hired a lawyer to represent me and possibly file suit in circuit court to force the Chesterfield police department to obey the state’s Sunshine Law. (This law upholds the public’s right to participate in the public’s business, and see its documents—without cost or hassle.)

I didn’t hire just any attorney, but one who for 30 years was a city attorney for a number of county municipalities. He also just retired after serving a quarter of a century as the city judge in Kirkwood.

Chesterfield is taking a somewhat odd stand here. I have requested similar reports of accidents and DWI arrests from neighboring Town and Country police for an online newsletter I write, and was immediately given the reports. I have spoken to two people at the state Attorney General’s Office and they have agreed that under the law, Chesterfield owes me some reports.

The real money graf:

I eventually got a copy of the court documents and quickly realized why the judge or the prosecutor probably didn’t want anyone to see the file.

On the night of his arrest in 2010, McLaughlin was falling down drunk, had slurred speech, offered a bribe to the officer to drive him home, refused to take a breath test and then refused to sign the citation.

On the DWI charge he was given a 2-year suspended imposition of sentence (SIS) with no conditions, such as doing community service, attending a driver improvement school, or attending a DWI Victim’s Impact Panel. McLaughlin was required to do nothing and got a probation that would keep his driving record clear of any hint of a DWI guilty plea.

The charge of Failure to Drive in a Lane (weaving) was reduced to ILLEGAL PARKING and he was fined $350 and $26.50 in court costs.




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