Cop Too Soused To Accept Mothers Against Drunk Driving Award. Yes, In Florida.

So you say there's a race of cops in the trees?

A Florida law enforcement officer was too inebriated to accept an award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, apparently arriving at the ceremony so sloshed that he was unable to walk straight.

Officer Michael Szeliga of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department had been scheduled to receive an award at the July conference for making over 100 DUI arrests, but his supervisors sent him to his hotel room to sleep it off. Szeliga denied that he was drunk when he drove to the conference, a claim undermined by the steering wheel hanging around his neck. We'd like to think the award was given in absentia to Hunter S. Thompson instead. In addition to the personal and professional embarrassment for Szeliga, it is believed that since the news broke on Tampa station WFLA last week, Alanis Morissette's email account was briefly overwhelmed by messages forwarding the story and simply reading, "SEE?"

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who has no doubt encountered every possible variety of Florida Man, was nonetheless surprised by Szeliga's behavior:

“It was wrong, and again, one of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard of. When I first heard about it, that was (what) my reaction was. ‘Come on, you’ve got to be kidding me. Really?’”

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Following the incident, Szeliga was reprimanded and suspended for one day -- with pay, so big whoop, more time for drinking. He also had to write a letter of apology to his supervisors for "being belligerent" at the conference. Despite the blot on his record, he received a scheduled promotion to detective; he is now a detective with the department's "crimes against children" unit, where he presumably is not allowed to work while shitfaced, but one never knows. Many people believe they detect better while drinking. We think we saw a public service announcement about that. If nothing else, this should look great in his application to join the Secret Service.

The Free Thought Project reports that similar incidents have occurred in the past, noting that in Canadaland last year, David Griffin, a former deputy police chief of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, who was also a chapter president for MADD, was arrested for driving under the influence, albeit not at an awards ceremony. In 2011, former MADD president Debra Oberlin was caught driving with a blood alcohol level triple the legal limit.

In an unrelated story, Yr Doktor Zoom has recently formed a chapter of People Who Would Never Ever Dream Of Owning A Classic Jaguar XKE Even If You Gave Us One For Free. We figure this rank hypocrisy thing has to have a positive side somehow.

[FreeThought Project via RawStory / WFLA]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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