71-year-old Gary Arnone may be the unluckiest man in Marin County – he was arrested for suspicion of DUI twice in one day. First, at around 2am, law enforcement officers got a call that a man was driving erratically. Police then found Arnone parked in a Marinwood Avenue parking lot where, upon seeing the officers, he tried to drive away – hitting a curb as he went. Arnone was taken to a Marin County jail, where he was booked on suspicion of a DUI (CA Vehicle Code §23152(a)). This should have been the end of the story. Arnone would have been in jail, sobering up, and he would no longer have been on the road.
However, it’s evidently a tradition to allow DUI suspects to go free once police have determined that they have become sober enough to release, have proper identification, and live in the nearby area. So, they let Arnone go at about 9am. It was later that afternoon that Arnone was arrested – once again – for a DUI by a motorcycle cop in the same general area.
This seems a strange practice and one that is dangerously close to entrapment. Anyone working in the restaurant industry in California knows about a little something called “third party liability.” Bartenders and servers can be fined if they serve too many alcoholic drinks to a patron that they believe to be past their limit. If something happens to that person – if they get into an accident, for example – then the establishment and the server or bartender are hit with a hefty fine. If the normal thing to do in Marin County is to allow DUI suspects to go free after they’ve “sobered up” in the estimation of law enforcement officials, then perhaps California police officers should consider taking the same classes that anyone would have to take in order to get their bar card. In other words, where is third party liability here?