Vinson: After-hours 'sting:' Deputy vs. Hillbilly

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It comes as no divine revelation that operating a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol--commonly known as Driving under the Influence/DUI--is a serious offense, one that can result in a litany of charges: heavy fines & court costs, loss of driver's license, loss of vehicle, loss of job, jail/prison time served, etc. Worse yet, DUI-related vehicular accidents are responsible for irreparably crippling bodily injuries and deaths each year--not just in America but the world over.

In no way advocating "drinking & driving," the following story was handed down to me to be the truth. Though I can't verify this second-hand story to be the actual truth, I felt compelled to share the gist of it with my readers, simply because it is too good not to share.

(NOTE: Regarding this story, the names of people, places, and locations are fictitious.)


The county deputy was a tall, burly, no-nonsense fellow named Jake Stuart: 35-years-old, 6 feet 2 inches tall, 240 pounds, and an ex-marine who sported a high-and-tight flattop haircut. It was 2:45 a.m. and the deputy had orders from the sheriff to stake out at closing time a local beer-bootleg joint called Honky-Tonk Babylon. As the name implied, Honky-Tonk Babylon was patronized by what were considered societal heathens: ex-cons, dope dealers, low-end hookers, and rough, uneducated hillbillies with quick tempers and even quicker hands with which to draw razor-sharp knives.

Around 2:50 a.m. Deputy Stuart pulled his unmarked car into the gravel parking lot of Honky-Tonk Babylon. It was a Saturday night/Sunday morning, and Honky-Tonk Babylon had featured a local, popular, country-rock band called Magnum & the Hollow Points. The parking lot was full of four-wheel-drive trucks, restored hot-rod cars, and Harley Davidson motorcycles. Deputy Stuart strategically parked at the end of a long row of cars parked side-by-side: His parking position gave him a vantage visual view of the patrons exiting the bar at closing time, which was 3 a.m.

Actually, the reason for Deputy Stuart being in Honky-Tonk Babylon's parking lot was quite simple: As of late, there had been a large number of DUI arrests made on intoxicated patrons leaving Honky-Tonk Babylon operating motorized vehicles. Further, the sheriff was working with the state police and the Drug Enforcement Agency/DEA on a joint task-force sting operation: They wanted to nab a local man named Roscoe Plunkett.

Roscoe, single and in his mid-40s, was a tall, lanky man who had finished the fourth grade and raised hogs for a living. A heavy drinker, Roscoe had been in-and-out of trouble with law enforcement most of his adult life. Too, it was well known Roscoe was "in" with Honky-Tonk Babylon's in-crowd, and frequented Honky-Tonk Babylon on Friday and Saturday nights. If Roscoe was arrested on a DUI, he probably would have some illegal narcotics on his person. Thus, the task force team could interrogate Roscoe and squeeze him into snitching on the "kingpins" who used Honky-Tonk Babylon as operation headquarters.

About 3:10 a.m. Deputy Stuart observed Roscoe exit the front door, so inebriated he could barely walk. Roscoe staggered around the parking lot for a few minutes, talking to himself, with Deputy Stuart keenly observing through Black Owl night-vision binoculars. After trying his keys on four separate trucks, Roscoe finally managed to find his own truck, a 1992 Dodge Ram painted camouflage green, the left front fender missing. Roscoe just stood against the driver's side door, gagging and coughing, while many other patrons left Honky-Tonk Babylon and drove off. Roscoe fell down once, but grabbed the driver's side door handle and, struggling, pulled him self back up to a standing position.

About 3:40 a.m. Roscoe opened the door, got into his truck, and started the engine. Though it was a dry summer night, Roscoe turned on the windshield wipers, hit the blinkers, honked the horn, and turned on the headlights. He moved the vehicle forward about ten feet, then put it in reverse and backed up to his original parking spot, patrons leaving the whole time. Finally, when his was the only vehicle left in the parking lot, he pulled out and drove slowly down the road, at about 25 mph.

Having waited patiently all this time, and having observed the obvious, Deputy Stuart's eyes lit up and he thought to himself: "I've got his drunk, hillbilly ass this time!" Deputy Stuart started up his patrol car, hit his beacon lights, tuned on his siren, and pulled over Roscoe a quarter-of-a-mile down the highway. At Deputy Stuart's request Roscoe obligingly exited the Dodge Ram.

Though Deputy Stuart could smell no alcohol on Roscoe, he administered a breathalyzer test. However, the breathalyzer results indicated Roscoe had not consumed any alcohol, whatsoever. Bamboozled, Deputy Stuart retorted with, "This breathalyzer equipment must be broken; I'll have to ask you to accompany me to the police station."

"I rather doubt it," Roscoe proudly announced. 'Tonight, I was the designated decoy ... bet that stings a tad, doesn't it, Deputy Stuart?"

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Mike Vinson
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