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  1. #1
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    Default Your Dept. DUI standards.

    The Memphis Fire Department has just made a new standard for DUI offences. The Local negotiated a 72h standard suspension a few years ago, but the city continues to change the length of suspension based on the administrations feeling about the individual they are handing down the punishment too. The new standard is 144h suspension, with a clause for immediate termination if there is a second offence (charge, not conviction). No matter what happens in criminal court, even if the charge is thrown out, The Administrative charges of the department supersede that of the city court. Just wanted to get a feel for what other departments standards are on this.


  2. #2
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    My opinion is along the lines of first offense should be jail time and no license for two years. Second offense, firing squad.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  3. #3
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    First time conviction, suspension.

    Second time conviction - Terminated!
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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  4. #4
    the 4-1-4 Jasper 45's Avatar
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    There is no real policy here, except for a couple of points. A state EMT license is a condition of employment, as is a state drivers license. Failure to maintain either results in dismissal.
    Felons may not be licensed EMTs in Wisconsin, and a second DUI results in twelve months with no license at all.

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    Are you talking about on-duty or off-duty?

  6. #6
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    Jasper, Felony is also grounds for loosing NREMT status, but a DIU conviction 1st offence in TN is a first degree misdemeanor traffic violation, same as wreckless driving.

    Capt, You mention CONVICTION, here it's just for the charge even if it thrown out in court.

    Conehead, Off-Duty not job related.


    Thanks for the input.

  7. #7
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    DUI = termination.

  8. #8
    Forum Member Jonnee's Avatar
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    On or off duty, you get charge with a DUI and are convicted, first time 3 sets of tours in the street.

    Second offense - termination.

  9. #9
    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    Conviction= Termination.

    But terminating someone on charges, that just does not seem right. Innocent until proven guilty, right?

  10. #10
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    We have had a three firefighters over the years who got bagged DUI.

    They immediately lose driving privileges. In Massachusetts, one can apply for a "Cinderella" license if you get picked up on DUI. It is valid from 0700 to 1900 hours to allow one to go back and forth to work. They are not allowed to drive apparatus or support vehicles until their situation gets resolved. They haven't had a problem since.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  11. #11
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    Unfortunately, in the past it's been very lenient. I know we have a couple people that have 1 or 2 DUIs in the past since they've been working for the FD. Although, our Admin is starting to turn over and I wouldn't be surprised with the new people if it gets stricter. In the last 5-8 years our dept has grown substantially from about 40 FF to over 130 FF. As such, it went from a very loose organization back then and is transitioning into something more structured.

    My personal view is the one DUI is too many. FFs have to be able to make sound decisions at all times and need to be responsible. Got no problem with getting plastered, just call a cab or use a designated driver.

  12. #12
    Rabble rouser Kobersteen's Avatar
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    I am actually embarrassed at my departments policy. Due to some in past leadership positions being recovering alcoholics, our policy is that if you get accused (ACCUSED, mind you) of DUI/DWI, you are set for termination. When you go in front of the Fire Chief for your termination, you are given a chance to go into a "Disciplinary Diversion program" where you, in my opinion, sign your rights away. If you do not sign, you are terminated. After signing the paper getting into Disciplinary Diversion, you have a job, but you need to jump through some hoops. First is an appointment with an addiction specialist who determines if you have a dependency problem. I do not really understand this step, because it does not matter what the specialist says. Then, once a week, you must attend AA Meetings. Salvage and Overhaul is what they call the meetings of the Anonymous firefighters in the program. Here is the kicker - for the rest if your career, you may not drink off duty. Period. You are randomly pulled out of the field and sent to the health center where they take a hair sample to determine if you have had alcohol. If it comes back positive, you have violated the terms of Disciplinary Diversion and you are terminated. This has happened.

    It does not matter if your charge is reduced, eliminated or upheld... you are in for your career.

    Please do not take what I have said that I advocate drinking and driving, I just feel that our policy is archaic, one-size-fits-all and unfair.
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  13. #13
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    California just passed the Torrico legislation which requires a livescan be done on all EMT's. The regulation requires that all criminal activity is reported to the county EMS agency.

    DUI's can result in revocation of your EMT license, which is a condition of employment.

    I abhor drunk driving. On the other hand there are not too many people who can honestly claim that they have not driven when they should not have.

    Personal belief - first DUI heavy suspension

    Second DUI (even if it is pleaded down to some other type of alcohol related driving offense) - termination
    Paul Lepore
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  14. #14
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kobersteen View Post
    Due to some in past leadership positions being recovering alcoholics, our policy is that if you get accused (ACCUSED, mind you) of DUI/DWI, you are set for termination.
    I'm not an Attorney or even close, but I believe this is a violation of the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. I dare say if I were a member of your Department and they tried that schit with me, I would run their asses all the way to the SCOTUS if I had to, but I don't even think it would go that far before being judged by a lower Court in my favor.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't advocate DUI, but I believe your Department's bosses and your City are in for a rude awakening if they ever poke the wrong sleeping dog with that policy in place.

    We had a member who was accused of multiple arson accounts, including several attempted murder charges for firebombing an occupied private dwelling. We could not dismiss him as a member until he was convicted of the charges. We did place him on permanent suspension, with the intent to dismiss, and once he plead a guilty, we terminated his membership. But we were specifically warned by our Solicitor not to dismiss him without due cause. And an accusation does not count.
    Last edited by FWDbuff; 07-11-2010 at 05:28 PM.
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    There is not a clear penalty, ie. XX hours suspension then termination, for off duty incidents. Much depends upon the wishes of the fire commisioner (FC), politics, and who the member is or isn't.

    Upon arrest, member is suspended OR is suspended at later time as the FC decides - no conviction needed. They are then subject to varying discipline, suspension to termination, as the FC decides. There is also at least two other factors involved. Must maintain valid driver license and most must maintain EMT. Felony knocks out EMT, and a DL suspension could result in termination. Typically they are given a suspension of so many hours, might be subject to a requirement of rehab/counseling, and a punitive transfer to a less desirable position (opposite platoon and furthest drive from home, etc.)

    We do have a fairly clear policy for on duty drug/alcohol incidents, DUI or other. Voluntary admissions (coming out and saying "I have a problem" - before an investigation, taking a drug test, etc.) - you're allowed 2; 1st time you must be evaluated and detox/rehab as deemed fit. 2nd time you get mandatory detox/rehab and a 18-month after care program. 3rd time is termination. Disciplinary offenses - such as found by drug test, result of accident investigation, etc. - you get 1; then required rehab and after care. 2nd offense - termination. Also allowed combo of 1 discipline and 1 voluntary, but in any event the third time's the charm.
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

  16. #16
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Joel, I'm shocked to read FCFR's policy on DUI ... especially simply being accused of DUI. I'm with FWD, I have no idea how this could hold up in court. So many parts of this policy seem to violate law, whether we're in a right-to-work state or not.
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  17. #17
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    Im suprised with as many innocent people we have worked on due to DUI accidents, that many people have said first time suspension, second time what ever.

    I do understand that people make mistakes, but to me being a responsible adult, and a firefighter, you should know not to drive when you have been drinking. I have the one beer rule. If I drink one or more beer's, I don't get behind the wheel.

  18. #18
    Forum Member CGITCH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VincentEng2 View Post
    I have the one beer rule. If I drink one or more beer's, I don't get behind the wheel.
    So that means if you have a sip you don't drive? Or any more than one beer you don't drive?

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