“Don’t you know who I am?”
Every cop who’s had to pull over drunk drivers has heard that line at least once.
Only, it probably sounded more like this: “Doan chune oh woo hi em?”
Which is a dead giveaway that the driver is plastered and the stop was warranted, and that breathalyzers, field sobriety tests, and measures of blood-alcohol content – in a sane world – should not be necessary.
But there’s an element of intimidation in the question. It suggests that the perp has pull, and no scruples about using it. He’s connected. The rules don’t apply to him. Try to apply them and you’ll regret it.
That’s ugly and inappropriate, not to mention illegal.
Of course, the perp may not be as famous as he imagines, but that’s no problem. If the arresting officer confesses that he doesn’t know the identity of the noted personality he caught breaking the law, said personality will duly inform him. At which point, the honest if naive cop will explain that such status makes no difference.
It shouldn’t, but it does – at least in Madison County and other politically corrupt communities throughout our state and country.
Ask Stephen Wigginton. Don’t you know who he is? If you don’t, ask him and he’ll tell you. He told the policeman who charged him for drunk driving in Edwardsville this past New Year’s Eve, as well as the one who cited him for the same offense two years earlier in Troy.
Wigginton has a drinking problem, and it could be related to his work. He’s the former U.S. attorney who found “insufficient evidence to charge anyone else” in the drug scandal surrounding former St. Clair County Judge Michael Cook and others. That ability to find “insufficient evidence” was appreciated by some with political power.
After two DUIs in two years, Wigginton should have lost his driver’s license, but – lo and behold! – there was a “clerical error” at the courthouse and he didn’t.
Of course, he could surrender his license voluntarily, if he wanted to.