January 15, 2013

"We know that all kinds of bad things can happen to somebody that gets to that level of intoxication."

"It’s almost a matter of dumb luck as to which bad thing’s going to happen. You’re going to get hit by a car, you’re going to pass out and choke on your own vomit, you’re going to stumble into somebody’s house, you’re going to pass out in the bushes. These things happen in Madison, and they happen with a good deal of regularity. And this case just ended up in probably the worst possible outcome one could imagine."


Big Mike said...

Or, if female, you wake up in bed with someone you didn't want to f**k but did anyway.

I remember some of my college classmates getting smashed, but I don't think anyone at any time was so smashed that they didn't sober up immediately at the sight of a loaded gun pointed at them.

Shouting Thomas said...

The search is on for somebody to blame... other than the guy who decided to pour too much alcohol down his throat.

He was a musician and everybody liked him, so how could he possibly just be to blame for his own stupid mistake?

Revenant said...

Nor is he a cheerleader for the police who’s trying to blame the situation on the guy who got shot.

I'm not a cheerleader for the police either. I'm something of an anti-cheerleader, really.

But I'm at a loss here. Why exactly should we be blaming anyone OTHER than the guy who got shot, if he broken into someone's house and then lunged at a cop? Who gives a rat's ass who served him booze? I've been drunk off my ass a time or two in my life -- slightly more times than I can remember, in fact. I've never thought to blame my actions on anyone but me.

Hell, I'd probably have shot the guy myself if it had been MY house.

traditionalguy said...

It's still a cover up. Anyone who habitually drinks gets a tolerance for 2.0 BA content that is barely feeling good to them.

Just because the tried and true 1.2 BA content for drivers "presumed impaired " has been politically lowered to 0.8 to appease MADD mothers it is still spin used saying he was more than twice the legal limit.

I thought Wisconsinites were drinkers. If so, then this dude was shot for no reason.


Sydney said...

Let's ban alcohol. That'll work.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

‘Where did this guy get that drunk and who facilitated that? Who was serving him that much alcohol?’” Scott says.

He was thirty years old, was he not? Who gives a crap who "facilitated that?" Unless someone held him down and stuffed a tube into his stomach, it's 100% on him.

Instead of placing pointless calls to the "city's Alcohol License Review Committee" we agree that the deceased earned his a Darwin award all by himself?

It reminds me of the This American Life episode "Party School" where Ira and one of the producers explored what it's like to live as a civilian close to the Penn State campus. Drunk people crawling into your kids' beds, stealing stop signs, pissing and vomiting in your flower beds--I have zero, none, nada tolerance for such asinine behavior. They deserve every bad thing that happens to them.

chickelit said...

Wouldn't tasering have been more sensible?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

wow, sorry for all the typos. Righteous indignation does a number on the details!

edutcher said...

sydney forgot the /sarc tag, but let's all remember what government is like nowadays.

And that Prohibition began in the Midwest.

(can't quite see Ann as Carry Nation)

donald said...

He was in their house chicklit.

How bout he was in YOUR house? And things were happening really fast.

Graham Powell said...

I had the same reaction as traditionalguy - 2.1 is drunk, but not some sort of legendary inebriation. I don't think that's even really falling down drunk. From what I have read, most people can get to 1.0 by drinking one drink in one hour.

Petunia said...

I, like most of the commentators on this issue on various websites, have no idea whether the cop is competent or not.

However, I would like to point out that if you are going to get so shit-faced drunk that you don't recognize your own home, cause such a ruckus that someone calls 911, start fighting with a neighbor with whom you're friends, and charge a cop after he tells you to get down, well, you shouldn't be surprised if the cop shoots you.

Michael K said...

We had a girl come into the trauma center with a BA of .21. She had been at a beach party and drove off the freeway on her way home. We worked her up for a head injury. She was completely unresponsive and we were thinking brain dead until she sobered up.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

I feel a little bad for the guy who got shot, and feel worse for the police officer who shot him. Most of all I feel bad for the homeowner who got barged in on.

But the guy is 30 years old, and is responsible for his own actions, and the consequences that come with them.

Also, .21 is definetely not that impressive. That was a typical weekend in undergrad or law school.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

With a blood alcholol level that high and still able to walk about, even in a blackout, this wasn't the guy's first rodeo.

madAsHell said...

I do remember being drunk, and thinking I was going to kick everyone's ass!!

Yeah....that didn't work out.

My friends did a lot of apologizing, and dragged me away kicking, and screaming. Thankfully, this was before YouTube, and ubiquitous video cameras.

Fritz said...

"Wouldn't tasering have been more sensible?"

At that blood alcohol level it's not a sure thing.

virgil xenophon said...

Well, as a graduate of LSU, a denizen of New Orleans AND an ex-fighter pilot, I can say unequivocally that the guy was a piker--strictly an amateur drinker--any truly serious experienced drinker should be able to navigate around quite well at that level..

Revenant said...

2.1 is drunk, but not some sort of legendary inebriation.

You and t-guy are off by an order of magnitude. At 2.1 you're dead, not intoxicated. :)

The MADD-induced crazy threshold for intoxication is now 0.08%, which is roughly equivalent to the BAC you get from glancing at the label on the wine bottle.

But yeah, 0.20 is intoxicated but nothing special. The guy must have either been a natural-born idiot or an inexperienced drinker to act that way.

Anonymous said...

You see, little Suzy, sometimes a man gets drunk and mistakenly goes into the wrong woman and that's how babies are made.

virgil xenophon said...

One a more serious note, lets all agree that its always hard to generalize about these situations. People's body chemistry varies greatly and two people of the same weight may have vastly duifferent tolerance levels. Then too, the rapidity with which the guy imbibed a given amount must be taken into consideration--as well as a pre-drinking fatigue factor as well..

David said...

chickelit said...
Wouldn't tasering have been more sensible?

Sure it would.

So, probably, would have been just stepping back and letting the guy fall over. Or lots of other responses.

The cop may have been too quick on the trigger. But that does not make it murder. The cop has to make a split second decision. He has to do this because the intruder put him in that position. The police can't be perfect. The intruder can avoid the harm by not intruding in the first place. Drunk or sober, that's his responsibility.

chickelit said...

donald said...
He was in their house chicklit.

Well, the homeowner didn't shoot him and the cops had no idea at the time that he had been in the house.

According to the article:
He came upon Heenan and the homeowner involved in what appeared to be a scuffle outside, pulled his gun and ordered the two to the ground.

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

Nobody ever says, ‘Where did this guy get that drunk and who facilitated that? Who was serving him that much alcohol?’”

he may have simply drank that much on his own. But even if he was at a bar and drank that much we all know that its his fault. Bartenders are busy people handling many drink orders at once.he could have been drinking with friends and different people could have bought drinks for everyone. He could have dealt with different bartenders who weren't paying attention to the amount of booze this guy drank. And it takes time to metabolize alcohol. So he may have have papered sober when placing his order for drinks. Bartenders cannot monitor the personal drinking habits of everyone at the bar.

He's l responsible for his drunkenness.
Back in my college days I once drank 7 Long Island ice teas in the span of a few hours and was so drunk I blacked out and was told about what I did while drunk the next morning(including urinating right in the middle of penn station's waiting area.

And because I was drinking with friends I maybe went up to the bar one time to order drinks. So, bartenders weren't going to know how drunk I was until I started acting drunk in the bar. It was my fault.

Another time I got so drunk I woke up in a lobby covered in my own puke a few blocks from my house.
Who's fault was that? Mine. I suppose my friends could have stopped me. But they were equally drunk.

Me getting that drunk only happened a few times in my life and always with the same crowd. And it was college. nowadays i rarely drink and if I do its like a glass of wine at Christmas.
.But I was responsible for my own inebriation every time.
As was this guy.

KCFleming said...

Dean Wormer was right!

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Who poured the drinks down his throat? Who?! I demand an answer! oh wait- he drank himself silly? oh.

McTriumph said...

I don't understand how .21 BAC can really be considered very intoxicated considering .20 BAC was the original limit to these insane DUI laws.

Unknown said...

Drink too much?

Shit happens.

Don't want shit to happen?

Don't drink too much.

Don't know what too much is?

Then you've drank too much already.

Methadras said...

For the most part, I'm beginning to believe that police forces nation wide are taking the militarization in their eyes that we are the animals that need to be kept in our cages at all costs. I'm very quickly beginning to lose respect for the police whenever I read accounts like this. Tazering the kid would have been more effective, but yet, why bother to carry a tazer when you can employ your service weapon on an unarmed drunk instead?

The police are very good at escalating certain situations. I've been a witness myself on many occasion of the hostility that police have for people who have done something as little question them. Yelling at them to shut up, while the other person asks why, then with the police officer yelling as loud as he can to have this person calm down, while that person is quite calm, only have the officer again ask them to be calm, while the person is telling the officer that they are calm, then telling that person that they must comply or face arrest. It's absurd humor at that point.

The police neither care nor wish to care. They view you as the baby that which they must baby sit. I'm not saying all cases are like this. Far from it, but the levels to which the blue line will circle the wagons when they fuck up is beyond imagining. We know what you are doing and you shield yourself behind the law and the DA's office. I know being a cop is a tough job, but clearly this particular police officer has or should have had enough experience to know that hey, maybe a zap zap would have worked in this case instead of a tap tap and killed someone who should have been.

Fuck-ups happen. Hell the shooting of Oscar Grant was a giant fuck-up, but at least there was some modicum of justice. This is just a senseless killing of an allegedly innocent guy who was drunk, but do I as a citizen have the right to defend myself against a police officer if I felt that my life was being threatened by him or her? Apparently the answer is yes, would this have a snowballs chance in hell of every being a viable defense in a court of law that would lead to your acquittal? Hell no.

Levi Starks said...

Fortunately the bill of rights guarantees the right to keep and drink alcohol.

Michael Haz said...

I wonder how much Red Bull the (now) dead guy drank with his alcohol. Before Red Bull, if you drank too much you pretty much dozed off after a time. With Red Bull, you are blasted wide awake and drunk at the same time. Very, very drunk. And wired.

I wasn't a witness, so I don't know what happened. The comments made after the article are shocking, to say the least. Typical "I hate the pigs" shit in Madison.

LilyBart said...

You know, we should ban all alcohol. If it saves one life, its worth it.

If you don't agree with me, you're just proving that you hate children.

Synova said...

There's a reason that I don't drink enough to be drunk and have never done drugs and it's only just a little bit about being brought up that way or believing it's wrong.

It's that I'm a control freak, vain and proud, too. I never want to be in a situation where I don't know what happened, and I don't want to act foolish.

Even as a teenager I viewed "Ha ha, Stacy was so drunk she puked in Joe's front seat of his car, ha ha ha ha!" as functionally equivalent to peeing my pants in public.

virgil xenophon said...

LilyBart, your logic is ABSOLUTELY unassailable, but you forgot the "just" prior to "one life." There--FIFY

Guildofcannonballs said...

Methadras that kid was fucking 30 years old.

Henry said...

And this case just ended up in probably the worst possible outcome one could imagine.

Shooting your girlfriend in front of your mother, then driving to your place of work and shooting yourself in front of your employers: That would be worse.

virgil xenophon said...

BTW, along this vein I must say to one and all that I not too long ago received proof that "the end" is nigh. I was lying in bed zoned out in limbo, listening to prog. indie radio sounds on my headphones while my wife watched a chick-flick when I heard--did I really hear that?--a PSA against drunk driving sponsored by MADD and narrated by none other than--wait for it--the Doors Keyboardist Ray Manzarek. If EVER there was another band besides the Rolling Stones that was more drunked-up/drugged-up than The Doors I don't know of it... and NOW band members are doing PSA's for MADD???

THE END is truly nigh... Morison really WAS a prophet with that song..

MadisonMan said...

This episode does not make me more likely to call cops on drunks, that's for sure.

It's ridiculous, though, to blame the person serving the drunk. People get bombed (and .21 doesn't seem too much bombed to me).

I repeat that I'm glad I'm a happy drunk, not an obnoxious one.

traditionalguy said...

Thanks for the correction Revenant.

The wrong decimal point was a memory lapse. But I did remember seeing many DUI Defendants at 0.32, so 0.22 seemed not to fit the spin of a totally blind a drunk flailing away at a policeman.

Emil Blatz said...

jr565said: Back in my college days I once drank 7 Long Island ice teas in the span of a few hours and was so drunk I blacked out and was told about what I did while drunk the next morning(including urinating right in the middle of penn station's waiting area

Well, you're no spring chicken if you peed in Penn Station!

In my younger and more vulnerable years I was a member of a fraternity at UW Madison, and was sometimes mildly drunk, but only on one occasion blackout drunk. I too had to be told of my misadventures, and after I heard them retold with perfect agreement by enough independent observers, I realized they had to be true.

On the more serious side of these drinking adventures, a fraternity brother who was intoxicated opened a window, crawled out onto the ledge above the 2nd story and went to sleep. The ledge was about 18 inches wide, and he was good until sometime in the wee hours when he rolled over in his slumber and fell what amounted to a full 3 stories into some bushes near the house. No one observed this happening, it was the dead of winter and most windows were closed. A kid delivering newspapers heard a wheezing sound coming from the bushes early in the morning and investigated, it what the sound produced by a collapsed lung (caused by broken ribs, among other injuries.) The guy survived, but I have always considered it to bee a supreme example of stupidity in inebriation.

Simon Kenton said...

We brought in a drunk who blew a 0.46 and was stashed in a hospital bed. This concerned me and I asked if the staff were going to use a stomach pump on her. "Naw. We'll just leave her unless we need the bed. Incidentally, a .46 is respectable, but your talented alcoholics can blow over .5."

Chip Ahoy said...

I told you about the woman who walked into my apartment wrapped in a blanket.

What's so hard about saying,

"Erm, excuse me but I believe you have the wrong house."

Try to be helpful about the situation.

"Maybe you're thinking about the house next door. They have a lot of fun parties."

In my case, the woman appeared stupefied and asked,

"Iz zare a bathroom innis place?"

Very early in the morning. I was up dong my usual off-the-wall off-hours thing right there at the island in the kitchen near the front door so she encountered me in a bright room immediately first step in.

I thought, "Shit, I really should lock that door."

There was a bathroom. One foot to her immediate left. But I did not tell her that. I visualized a drunk woman knocking herself out weeing up the place in there then blaming me for her head being cracked open and for being raped somewhere along her checkerboard night. All that flashed in my mind so I came out of character and turned unhelpful to the immediate bathroom need. Best to move right along back to her party, or back to bed. Probably around the corner. Wee in the hallway if you must, if you can't make it all the way back. No drunks allowed. Good luck. I was thinking that, but realizing her own error, she left right away so no cops and no bullets were necessary.

virgil xenophon said...

"But your talented alcoholics can blow over .5"

I represent that remark! In fact I totally resemble it! (or used to, in my more "spry" days, lol)

Meade said...

In 2000, excessive alcohol use caused 85,000 preventable deaths in the U.S.
Firearms caused 29,000. Poor diet and inactivity caused 365,000. And tobacco caused 435,000.

Meade said...

Risky sexual behavior only caused 20,000 avoidable deaths.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

you’re going to pass out and choke on your own vomit

The hard cases choke on someone else's vomit. (per Spinal Tap).

mishu said...

Where's ritmo? Shouldn't he be calling for a ban on alcohol here?

kentuckyliz said...

I don't fault the cop.

Guimo said...

True story. Wild party out in the country. First drunk drives away. Runs off road on sharp curve and flips car. Second drunk leaves 10 minutes later. Runs off road at same curve and strikes and kills first drunk just as he crawls out of his overturned vehicle..

Michael Haz said...

It's interesting that none of the comments here or in the media that published the linked article address the issue raised by the author - the high level of binge drinking in Madison, particularly near the UW campus.

Fritz said...

Binge drinking on or near a college campus? Say it ain't so!

Old RPM Daddy said...

@Michael Haz: "It's interesting that none of the comments here or in the media that published the linked article address the issue raised by the author - the high level of binge drinking in Madison, particularly near the UW campus."

That would have disturbed the "good guys versus bad guys" vibe of the comment thread. And while I'd imagine there are a respectable number of individuals ready to admit that excessive drinking could be a public problem, they might not want to do it on that thread.

SJ said...

@chickelit, @methedras,

Do we know if the Police Department in Madison issues Tasers to its officers?

If not, the officer's choices range from voice, to hands-and-feet to sap, billy club, then pistol. If the Department lets him carry a sap or billy club.

When the Officer has to make his decision in a time span of 15 seconds, from his announcement of "Get on the ground" to one of the two combatants lunging at him, he doesn't have much time to decide.

I'm not sure that Police are under the influence of a militaristic culture.

However, they do have general immunity from civil suits. And typically, a city Police Officer is only charged with a crime if his own department charges him. (Or the event results in charges from the Sheriff/State Police covering the region, or some Federal agency with a reason to investigate brings charges...)

It is a good thing for Police to have immunity against most such charges. That shields them from groundless/nuisance suits from criminals or misdemeanants who dislike the Police.

It also shields them against legal trouble for their own misdeeds.

Which is the old problem, first stated in Latin as quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Who guards the guardians? Who polices the Police?

Methadras said...

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Methadras that kid was fucking 30 years old.

I use the word kid not as a pejorative of his age, but the fact that he was younger than me.

Methadras said...

Simon Kenton said...

We brought in a drunk who blew a 0.46 and was stashed in a hospital bed. This concerned me and I asked if the staff were going to use a stomach pump on her. "Naw. We'll just leave her unless we need the bed. Incidentally, a .46 is respectable, but your talented alcoholics can blow over .5.

Damn, isn't that death inducing levels right there? Jesus, almost half your BAC is alcohol?