Cop Asks for Permit to Drive Squad Car after DUI

After he was banned from driving for a year because he had refused to take a breath test, a Bloomington police officer is now asking the State to allow him to drive squad cars as this is part of his work.

According to The Pantagraph, Officer William McGonigle, age 35, of Normal, was accused of driving under the influence and speeding on January 31.The police officer pleaded not guilty to the charges and now he is trying to get back to work although his driving license was suspended.

Advised by his lawyer, Jeff Brown, McGonigle asked Associate Judge Casey Costigan to be allowed to drive a police car with a breath alcohol interlock device installed in the vehicle.

According to a law that took effect on January 1, any driver charged with DUI for the first time can still be allowed to drive provided that he/she has the device installed in the car. If such a device is installed in the offender's vehicle, the driver won't be able to start the engine if he/she doesn't pass the breath test. That means that the motorist will have its blood alcohol tested each time, he/she attempts to get behind the wheel.

As for  McGonigle's request, it seems that Judge Costigan has also signed another demand from the police officer, asking for an exemption to the law as Bloomington police has already stated they won't install an interlock device in a squad car.

His lawyer said that the law allows exceptions for vehicles which are used during working hours if they are not taken home.

However, Bloomington city attorney Todd Greenberg didn't quite agree with Brown as he claims driving privileges differ from one job to another. He added that some positions do not require a driver’s license and those that do require a person to be able to drive during their working hours. Since stopping drivers suspected of DUI is one of the duties of patrolling officers, it wouldn't be fair to allow McGonigle to assume such a responsibility. But he refused to comment whether McGonigle would be able to return to work or not.

The case will be taken forward by a special prosecutor on April 13.
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