What would you do…if you struck a 5 year-old boy with your car—and you have alcoholic biochemistry? (TAR Lite # 36)
1. Stop your car and immediately call for help?
2. Stop your car, get out and ascertain the boy’s injuries, see if you can do anything by way of aid and comfort and then call for help?
3. Stop your car and, seeing a witness drive up and a neighbor run out of his home to ascertain what the sound of skidding tires was all about, ask them for help?
4. Try to drive away, but when a witness blocks your car, run off and crawl into a nearby hole, covering yourself with dirt?
Congratulations if you picked # 4, which is what Marsha Humi Perry, 36, did after a witness blocked her from fleeing the scene in her car. She came out only when Office Kyle Day and his K-9 partner, Ranger, came within five feet of the hole she was hiding in. Day couldn’t see her, but Ranger signaled her location and, after Day gave her two warnings he’d unleash the dog, the ground moved and she emerged.
Police say they don’t believe alcohol or other drugs were involved. However:
1. Perry was driving with a suspended license.
2. Perry has dozens of prior offenses and warrants.
3. Most telling, she has a case pending in drug court for an arrest in November 2014, on charges of identity theft and methamphetamine possession.
Keep in mind few police officers are properly trained to detect the presence of drugs in suspects. A study in Fort Lauderdale, Florida recounted in Get Out of the Way! How to Identify and Avoid a Driver Under the Influence found that cops made only ten DUI arrests when citing traffic violators, while researchers with breathalyzers found 37 more. Someone with a case pending for meth possession and identity theft (an offense meth addicts are known to specialize in) who tries hiding in a hole covering herself with dirt after striking a child with her car has all the trappings of behaviors in which only a meth addict would engage.
Obviously, Officer Day had Perry on hit-and-run. However, everyone apprehended should be tested for drugs in the system so the connection can be made, in court, between addictive use and serious misbehaviors. This would give the judge an excellent reason for proscribing drug use, with regular and random testing as a condition of parole. This treatment would give us our best shot at getting Marsha Humi Perry and her ilk clean and sober.
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