Career Limiting Moves: WSP Arrests Everett Officer For DUI

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

washington-state-patrol-patchMost DUI arrests are rather uninteresting, others have some rather bizarre circumstances, as is the case where the Washington State Patrol arrested Everett, WA Police Lieutenant Jimmy Phillips for suspected DUI. This in itself was not extremely inordinate but what truly struck me as odd were a number of particulars alleged during the incident that made me wonder, “What were you thinking!”

There are certain commonalities manifest in the run of the mill drunk. Every law enforcement officer has heard these excuses and they oddly seem to be taught by a common teacher in Drunk Driving 101, but we would hope that the very ones who see such graduations would not enroll in the course themselves.


The State Patrol alleges that Lieutenant Jimmy Phillips, with Everett, drove his pickup/camper on a freeway near Kennewick while helping himself to shots of Jack Daniels whiskey. He lost control of his vehicle, rolled it, and crashed. Two troopers arrived and investigated, later hooking him up for DUI.


Now, I would like to present to you some of the allegations made during this incident along with commentary on how such events seem to happen with most all accused drunk drivers:

The old “I’ve only had two beers officer.”: The human brain must be hardwired to bring up the “two beers” response when asked how much one had to drink. It is astonishing how common this is, most drivers say it when asked. The lie seems to be inherent with homo sapiens as the statement seems to transcend language, social status and culture.

In this case Lt. Phillips allegedly claimed that he only had “two shots” of whiskey. Troopers claim he blew a .207 on a breath test; two and a half times the legal limit.

“I’ve suffered enough by crashing my car”: When Lt. Phillips was asked by a trooper if he would perform voluntary field sobriety tests he reportedly said, “”Look, the truck and camper are totaled, isn’t that enough?” The arrest report stated that he had watery, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and smelled of alcohol.

They incriminate themselves so easily: “I’ve had too much to drink,” Phillips said to one of the troopers. “I know that, and that’s why I wound up in the ditch.”

Now, if proven these allegations certainly will constitute a Career Limiting MoveTM, especially of a police manager and twenty-five year veteran. His agency now is conducting an internal affairs investigation and it likely will not go well for him.

But with each of the above mistakes he allegedly made, that he obviously should have known better as a veteran officer to repeat, there was one additional that is truly astounding:

Commit a possible Life Limiting MoveTM: It is usually very ill advised to walk up to a law enforcement officer on a traffic stop while carrying a pistol in your hand. Rookies know this from day one. But, Lt. Phillips seems to have forgotten this most basic rule. He approached one of the troopers carrying a cocked and loaded handgun; causing the trooper to draw his weapon and order Phillips to drop the pistol. When asked why he did this he reportedly said, “I just wanted to give you the gun.”

A word of advice, leaving the pistol in the truck and telling the cops it is inside is much, much better.

So again I must pose the question, “What were you thinking?”

By Darren Smith


Washington State Patrol (photo credits)

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

34 thoughts on “Career Limiting Moves: WSP Arrests Everett Officer For DUI”

  1. There are ways to drink and enjoy alcohol. On a tour of the Napa Valley we stopped in for a presentation. The host explained that a bottle of wine is perfect for two people over an hour or so, when consumed with some food. There is a debilitating effect of a half bottle of wine on a driver, regardless of size, sex, or amount of food consumed. It seems that the determining issue is time. If a person spends two or more hours drinking a half bottle of wine or a couple of pints, eats a small meal, and is not affected aggressively by alcohol, then perhaps that is the benchmark. The problems with drinking and driving typically center around slamming down too many drinks while, ‘destressing’, after a day at work, and hurrying home to dinner.

    After a lifetime of just about every scenario, I have morphed into drinking at home, at the end of my day, with some food, and with no intention whatsoever of driving anywhere. I am lucky enough to have a wife who does not drink or if so a toast here or there. She drives, yet if you can’t remember your good time that means you didn’t have one.

  2. Riesling, Good examples. In the US, a wine serving is 5oz, Now, in Europe, as you know, the standard for beer is pretty much a pint[16oz.]. But, in the US one beer serving is 12oz. However, most people will drink a 20oz. mug and say “1 beer.” With distilled spirits, one serving is 1.5oz. However, most people free pour and it’s often much more that ends up in the glass. Then, there are variables even if you do the correct measurements. Many of these microbrews are significantly stronger than the standard US beer. Malt liquor is stronger. The 1.5oz of distilled spirits is based on 80 proof, but you can get much stronger. Baccardi 151 Rum comes to mind, or Wild Turkey 100 proof. Wine is probably the most consistent, w/ the vast majority being 12% alcohol. But, there are fortified wines like MD 20/20.

  3. Paul, You’re correct. My apologies. I’m still a little shell shocked from last night, as we discussed offline.

  4. Nick, you’ve made a good point on the size of the wine glass. In France and Italy a glass of wine measures 0.1 liters. So you can get 7 glasses of wine out of a bottle.Where i live in Germany it is 0.2 – but they usually fill the glass up to the rim so you’ve got almost a third of a liter in one glass. If you drink 2 glasses, as most women here do, you’ve almost emptied the whole bottle!

  5. Forgot, Having investigated my share of cops and firefighters for “disability” I can tell you it is a cash cow and blatantly abused.

  6. After not being arrested by his dept. which issued a report “recommending no legal action,” this Riverside, CA Police Chief retired with a ridiculously generous medical disability “spike” or enhancement. It was claimed that he was guilty of “domestic violence” and this DUI occurred subsequent to a visit to a “topless bar.” How do these people get away with all of this nefarious activity? America is corrupt from the eminently impeachable, subjective, nullifying, political/ideological and subversive Extreme Court to the Dog Catcher (BTK Killer).


    “Without appearing in person, Riverside police Chief Russ Leach pleaded guilty Thursday to driving under the influence during his post-Super Bowl ride in a heavily damaged city-car.

    The 62-year-old, who consumed 11 drinks in the hours prior to being stopped, was sentenced at arraignment to three years probation and a 30-day home monitoring program. He’s required to pay more than $1,700 in fines and take an alcohol education class. He stepped down as chief on Feb. 11 and is seeking a medical retirement.

    All are common in first-time misdemeanor DUI cases, as is not being required to personally attend proceedings.

    What is not common, as prosecutors acknowledged, was that Leach was never arrested, booked or given blood, breath or urine tests after his own patrol officers stopped him about 3 a.m. Feb 8.Using Leach’s size and interviews about the strength of the drinks and the time they were ordered, they estimated he had a blood-alcohol level of .22 when he was pulled over — nearly three times the legal limit

    “He’s very, very sorry for his actions,” said defense attorney James Teixeira. “He takes responsibility, and with that he wants to move on with his life.”

    Under the plea, which comes only three days after charges were filed, a second misdemeanor of driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit was dismissed.

    Authorities allege Leach mixed four beers with up to five prescription medications while at home Feb. 7, then visited an area topless bar and drank seven “double” scotches in four hours. He was unsteady on his feet upon leaving the bar near 2 a.m. Feb. 8, they said.

    But as he exited Club 215 in Colton, Leach declined a taxi, and at some point, ran his Chrysler 300 into a low-profile object like a curb or center divider. It shredded his tires, yet he continued on for several miles, down to his rims.

    “It appears something dreadfully wrong occurred for the vehicle to be in the condition it was,” court commissioner Bambi Moyer said Thursday before accepting the chief’s guilty plea in absentia.

    ‘Reckless Acts’

    Ultimately, after running a red light, Leach was stopped by Riverside police officers. He was slurring his speech, couldn’t stand straight, and wasn’t aware his car was badly damaged, investigators have said.

    Supervising Deputy District Attorney Stephanie Weissman said that Leach had made an illegal U-turn and nearly collided with another vehicle at the same intersection where he would later run the red light. His headlights were off.

    “All of those would be reckless acts,” she said.

    Patrol officers drove Leach home and filed a report recommending no criminal action.

    The department handed the case to the California Highway Patrol nearly two days later. Its findings were issued in a 537-page report, which they have declined to release in its entirety.

    City leaders have criticized the police’s handling of the incident. They are conducting an internal affairs probe.”

  7. You will also see that not only do women get drunker than men because of physiological differences, they are also more susceptible to organ damage, including but not limited to, the liver.

  8. Well Paul, I don’t have a cite as prestigious as! But, I do from the National Institute of Health/Alcohol and Alcoholism report Dec. 1999. The piece is titled: Are women more vulnerable to alcohol.

    The NE Journal of Medicine study I referenced earlier about the alcohol enzyme being greater in men is discussed in the 6/24/01 Time Magazine piece titled: Why Men can Out Drink Women. They pop up if you Google Women v Men Alcohol tolerance/metabolism.

    1. Nick – since you really never cited either, there is no way I could see the point you were trying to make. Is this like forgetting to attaching the document to the email you are sending out? 🙂

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