Physics Major Schools Police Officer On Math In Roadside Stop

This video shows a police officer fighting with a young man over math and declaring “I do not have to prove shit to you” when confronted over his math. The officer dismisses the “genius” who tries to tell him that double .08 is .16.

Such math moments are likely to increase with the move of the Administration to lower the BAL to the equivalent of one drink for a woman.

49 thoughts on “Physics Major Schools Police Officer On Math In Roadside Stop”

  1. This kid was absolutely correct and it’s fantastic he argued it because the cop may have simply written .16 instead of .016 on the citation with no evidence to back up the .016 statement.

    Admitting having two beers is fine – the metabolism of alcohol in the body is a function of time. I can have two beers throughout the day and still have a .016 – it just matters how much time has elapsed.

    As a former police officer myself, I can tell you that cop is a moron.

  2. Diogenes, I think I can explain the multiplication of the reading by 2. Although we obviously can’t see the actual results of the reading of the blood alcohol level of the physics student, based on the conversation between him and the police officer, I would infer that the actual blood reading was 0.018. Such a reading would make sense for a typical guy consuming two beers over an hour or two, as the average reading shortly after consumption of two beers is 0.03–well below the 0.08 legal limit.

    The police officer then seemed to indicate that the student’s blood alcohol reading of 0.018 was more than twice the legal limit. This is where the math comes in. Because the legal limit is 0.08, more than twice legal limit would, of course, be a reading more than 0.16. Thus, it would appear that the police officer is off by a critical decimal place.

    If my interpretation of the conversation between the student and the police officer is correct, we can make further inferences:

    1. The physics student was far from impaired, as he not only knew the legal blood level, but he was immediately able to interpret his own blood alcohol reading results, and, in addition, could explain the correct math to the officer.

    2. The police officer was on a “power trip” and was out to show his authority, rather than to properly enforce the law.

    3. Assuming that the student’s 0.018 blood alcohol reading was correct, the case, of course, will be dismissed, because even if the student should encounter a mathematically challenged judge, that judge should, nonetheless, grasp that 0.018 is less than 0.08.

    I have one suggestion for the DUI industry. They should take a cue from the financial industry. Blood alcohol levels should be measured in BASIS POINTS, not in decimals. Thus, instead of a legal limit of 0.08, the legal limit should be expressed as 8 basis points. Simple. No decimals. And yes, even police officers–and other mathematically challenged professionals–should readily understand and interpret the results expressed in basis points.

  3. Am I missing something here?
    1. Why was it needed to MULTIPLY the reading of the measuring device by 2?

    2. As one who uses (higher) math daily, I would state that the question “What is 35 from 53?” is vague, undefined question. The obvious answer can be 35/53=0.66 or 66%.

    3. If one insist on having “18” as an answer, one has to merely ask “What is 53 MINUS 35?” ; This way of asking math question is universally recognized, not only by Judges and Attorneys, but by mortals not quite versed by the local parlance, like myself, for instance….

  4. Darren Smith,

    Thank you so much for posting your thoughts. You’re one of the better posters and I really appreciate it.

    I’m exhausted from the week and I’ve been out working in the yard this evening, I’ll add some thoughts later here or on another tag line.

    Thank you

  5. OK1:

    DUI / DWI checkpoints are considered unconstitional in WA. The reason for this essentially is that the court said that officers could not impose a stop on all drivers to check for DUI (then DWI) suspicion where the police did not have reasonable suspicion to believe that each driver might be impaired. They could not do this with traffic offenses any more than the police can just stop a group of random citizens who were just walking through a park.

  6. The police are very much in love with their power over citizens. I have personally observed several instances of the police breaking the law, but they get away with it because who is policing the police?

    Thus, even when the police are dead wrong, you’re often better off going along with them, always maintaining your cool, and being respectful. Never argue with the police.

    If the person in this clip actually had two beers within the last hour or so, his blood alcohol level would lively be about 0.03 on average–well below, the critical point. Impairment for most individuals would be nil.

    And as for the math part of this clip, and the issue of whether or not 0.08 x 2 = 0.16, the answer will probably depend on what school you went to. And they don’t necessarily cover such calculations at The Police Academy.

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