Missouri town gives rides home to drunk drivers

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COTTLEVILLE, MO (AP) – A suburban St. Louis police chief says a policy that allows officers to give suspected drunk drivers rides home is a community policing strategy designed to build citizen trust.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the three-year-old Cottleville policy has been an informal practice since Police Chief Scott Lewis’ 1997 hiring. Lewis is also city administrator in the St. Charles County town and becomes county sheriff in January.

Mayor Jim Hennessey said he wasn’t aware of the policy and wants to put an end to the practice. And St. Charles prosecutor Tim Lohmar responded that “all DWI arrests should be submitted for consideration of charges if they are supported by probable cause.”

Lewis said he doesn’t know how many DWI suspects have been issued warnings instead of being arrested.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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