Hello and welcome back to school! Since this is my first monthly crime related article for Gonzaga, I would like to introduce myself. I am Detective Kirk Kimberly and I am a 26 year veteran officer with the Spokane Police Department. At the moment, I am assigned to the Spokane Regional Auto Theft Task Force and Gonzaga University is one of my main target areas. I have previously worked on every type of investigation including property crimes, fraud, drugs, and crimes against persons including sexual assaults, assault, burglary, robbery, and homicide. Some of you may already know me as I taught several different Criminal Justice classes at Gonzaga over the years. These articles are meant to provide some insight into crime related issues in and around Gonzaga and provide tips to help prevent victimization. Each month, I will discuss different topics. Feel free to weigh in on topics you want to read about!
With the start of the new school year, I will discuss alcohol related crimes since many people tend to “celebrate” the start of the school year with alcohol. First, let’s try to identify the most common alcohol related crimes. The obvious first choice is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI). In Washington State, the crime of DUI is governed by RCW 46.61.502 which states that a person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within this state:
(a) And the person has, within two hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person’s breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or
(b) The person has, within two hours after driving, a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by analysis of the person’s blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or
(c) While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug; or
(d) While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, and any drug.
DID YOU KNOW:
- a) According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), on average 2 out of 3 people will be involved in a collision where intoxication is a factor?
- b) According to the National Highway Safety Administration, vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for teens, and about a quarter of those crashes involve an underage drinking driver. One of the saddest cases I worked involved the death of a teen girl where her best friend had driven drunk. Be safe!
- c) According to the FBI, in 2014, three times as many males were arrested for drunk driving as females.
Disorderly conduct is another common crime associated with alcohol impairment and is governed by Spokane City Municipal Code Section 10.10.020. The code states that no person may intentionally cause, or recklessly create, a risk of unreasonable public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm by:
- A) Engaging in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior; or
- B) Committing any act which tends to create or incite, or in fact creates or incites, either a violent response and/or an immediate breach of the peace. Such conduct includes without limitation:
- Obscene language or gestures; or
- Boisterous conduct; or
- Personally abusive epithets, or words or language that a reasonable person would find offensive, disgusting or insulting and/or which epithets, words or language are likely to provoke a reaction of fear, anger or apprehension when addressed to a citizen of ordinary sensibilities; or
- C) Disturbing any lawful assembly of persons without lawful authority.
Obviously there is a tendency for disorderly conduct to morph into other crimes such as assault and malicious mischief (vandalism). Of grave concern is sexual assault on campus. Many campus related sexual assault involve the consumption of alcohol on the part of one or both parties involved. Remember, in no instance is intoxication a defense for any crime. So, enjoy the new school year, but be respectful of each other and personally responsible with you alcohol intake. Next month I will discuss sexual assaults in the University setting.
If at any time you have questions about any topic we discuss or any unrelated topic, I can be contacted at 509-625-4069 or KKimberly@SpokanePolice.org. Welcome back and be safe!
— Detective Kirk Kimberly
Spokane Police Department