Sex Stings, Roadblocks And Texting

Posted: Friday, September 7, 2012 at 7:28 am
By: Doug Lund
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I’ve started several blogs in the past week but have stopped after a little voice in my head seemed to be saying, “Idiot..do you really want to go there?”  But, what the hey. The first has to do with that reverse sting by the Sioux Falls Police Department in which they placed an ad on the internet offering the services of a couple women available for “escort” (heh, heh) services. The escorts were, of course, “undercover” lady officers. Well, I’ll be darned if the phone didn’t start ringing within a few minutes and rendezvous were arranged.  When the guys showed up..a few of them were looking for more than someone to share a dinner with at HuHot.  As soon as they offered the ladies cash for whoopee, the cops swooped in. When the night was over, 8 fellows had been charged with trying to hire a hooker (or in a couple cases BOTH hookers at the same time) and charged with a misdemeanor. The lads also got their names on the news for all to see. The public has been assured by Chief Doug Barthel that the department will be renting more motel rooms and giving some of their female officers double duty in the future..so ya better watch out. I sure would like to see that ad but am not about to go searching for it on-line. Don’t need anything like that permanently stored on my hard drive.

Now, I’m not defending these lonely and apparently horny guys or advocating legalized prostitution but, for heaven’s sake, is the crime rate in Sioux Falls so low that police have to dream up busy work for its officers with these fishing expeditions trying to lure people into breaking the law?  I know it’s not legally considered entrapment but it sure seems to come awfully close. Chief Barthel says he was disappointed at the large number of responses to the  ad.  Really? You didn’t realize the internet..even here in Sioux Falls..was teeming with men looking for a roll in the hay even if they have to pay for it?  What happens now? Will any of the eight guys arrested actually spend the maximum one year in jail or will they plead guilty, pay their fines..go and sin no more? 

I also understand the dangers of drinking and driving but am not a fan of those flock-shoot police roadblocks in which motorists must basically prove their innocence to pass through. I realize they snag a few violators by using these sobriety checkpoint techniques but police used to need “probable cause” to pull a person over.  Now, don’t yell at me saying that I don’t seem to care about getting drunk drivers off the road..I do. But if that is, in fact, the main objective here, wouldn’t it be more efficient and effective for police to station officers outside the most popular bars in town and nab patrons as they leave and get behind the wheel? You know for a fact they’ve been drinking and there’s a better-than-average chance they’d test positive for exceeding the legal alcohol limit allowed for operating a motor vehicle. Sure the bar owners would cry foul..but, after the smoking ban, it’s apparent they don’t have any rights anyway.

Now, the city council has decided that it is going to be illegal to text and drive. Violators face a 200 dollar fine. I’ve written here before that I think texting drivers are far more dangerous than those who’ve had a couple drinks. Just this past week, Linda was coming home from Alcester when she came upon a car doing about 45 miles an hour. She passed only to have the car race past her..weave across the center line then slow down again. Drunk you say? Nope. When they got into town Linda could see the other driver typing away on his phone.  My problem with this new ordinance is enforcement. How in the world can police know for sure if a driver is composing and sending an electronic message (Illegal) and not just dialing a number or receiving a text or playing Angry Birds? (Legal)  Even they haven’t quite figured out the rules of engagement yet.

I don’t have any answers on this one; the genie is out of the bottle. I’m afraid people (young people in particular) aren’t going to stop texting and driving but will now try keep their activity out of sight which is even more distractingly dangerous.

Let’s give this a try: “Hey, all you kids out there, Grandpa Doug here with a request; don’t be dumb with your smart phones. I know you believe that keeping in touch with  friends at all times is really important but please, please don’t text when you’re behind the wheel or allow your phone to distract your driving in any way. I’ll bet each of you knows someone who has had an accident or a close call because of it. Don’t let that happen to you. Remember,  there are lots of people, including me, who love you dearly and only wish to protect you from harm.”

17 Comments

  1. Don says:

    Doug

    Let’s get rid of the DUI game. Zero blood alcohol. When SD was forced to go to 0.08% BAC, I tossed the zero on the table in front of at least two SD Trropers in the Mellette County Clerk of Courts Office. By their instant aggressive response, (each of them), you would naturally think I had insulted their mothers; questioned their paternal geneology;and stompted on the Flag of the United tates of America! “You cn’t do that.” But neither of them said why. Bars bellyached about the smoking ban, and maybe there was an initial slump and video lattery (what a fraud, calling it a lottery) suffered. But “decent bars” I see, are stilll in business. Common sense says if you know the limit is zero, there is no game. “Let’s see I weigh 200 pounds, I’m male I jsut ate two helpings of pasta prima vera at Olive Garden, so I sould be able to have 4 drinks in an hour and still be legal.” “But honestly officer, I only had 4 mixed drinks.” I can point you to the records which show that a driver in SD took his 0.27 BAC to a jury trial and walked. In the 1950′s there was no legal limit on BAC you were either drunk or not. Also, SD had 11 Troopers! Oh, another thing, if it were zero, there might be fewer highspeed chases and consequent crashes. But that’s the game.

  2. Carrie Ackerman-Rice says:

    The last time I was in Sioux Falls, I was stopped at the light on the corner of 41st and Louise. A young man in his 20′s was making a turn into the lane next to me…he was texting the whole time and never looked up…he scared the hell out of me. I honked my horn…he still didn’t look up.

  3. Warren says:

    Everyone knows that texting and driving is a very dangerous combination. At face value it seems like this is a great law. On further review I think it will not work so well. I’m certain that instead of texting in plain view, people will simply hold the phone lower and out of view of the police. This will require that people take their eyes off the road for a longer time, making it even more dangerous. I just hope the cure isn’t worse than the disease.

    Doug, your snipe at the smoking ban did not go unnoticed. I have no idea if it has or has not hurt businesses but I for one am so grateful to not have to try to eat a meal with someone at the next table making the air stink.

  4. Gary6 says:

    Why do they say where the roadchecks wilol be? Is it to protect the important people, like lawyers, judges and off duty police. I say just set up the roadchecks with out any warning.

  5. howsitgoinn says:

    …. if a person sets their own personal ” Bar ” high enough they won’t end up with DUI’s.Hookers or Texting wrecks….if they keep lowering the bar there is no end to the misery…… thanks for the story Doug

    life is good

  6. ProblemSolved says:

    Why don’t they simply make it to where if you have more then 1 DUI that you are required to have a license plate on your car the indicates so and would allow police to pull you over to simply to check if you have been drinking and driving. I think this would help with repeated offenders and get people off the streets.

  7. grouse says:

    No smoking! No drinking! No whoring! Politicians won’t know what to do with themselves!

  8. Jeni says:

    Banning testing while driving is fine. What I don’t understand is why talking on the cell phone while driving is acceptable. It is true that texting is more dangerouse than talking on a cell phone, but that does not mean talking on a cell phone while driving is safe.

    I witnessed a vehicle crash caused by someone talking on a cell phone who drove through a red light. I have seen drivers using cell phones using poor driving behaviors that if surrounding drivers had not beenalso watchful, a crash would have happened. Then there are those who are stopped at a signal light so busy talking on their phone they miss seeing the light turn green with the result of interfering with the traffic flow.

    There is never an excuse for talking on the cell phone, listening to voice mails while driving, or checking caller ID. If there is a need/want to talk to someone using the cell phone, pull into a parking lot. Even in an emergency, pull over or pull into a parking lot/drive way.

  9. I replied says:

    To problemsolved post….I agree with you….Minnesota has such a license plate
    Ever notice the all white plate that starts with letters WU,WY…etc. followed by numbers???
    Those are what Minnesotans call Whiskey plates because the vehicle had once been impounded for
    A driver that was caught driving drunk.

  10. Per Pål P says:

    I would just like to make one comment….First of all….let me say a big thank you to ALL of our law enforcement people… you do a fantastic job. Many of us pray that you’ll have it safe everyday of the year. But….I sure do have a problem with “chases”… If someone does not “pull over”…it’s most likely that person is “under” something…I would like to think that the person trying to make the stop would most likely have license, car description etc…And yes, some would “get away”…but hopefully not at a high speed chase while under the influence. I know there are some families in Sioux Falls and South Dakota that certainly wish there had not been a “high speed” chase…Again…many thanks to all of you in law enforcement and what you do for us….I just hope there’s other ways to eventually apprehend the person who “runs away”….I sure don’t have the “right” answers…but, I also sure hope that my children or grandchildren, are not the victim of a high speed person “under the influence”…being chased.

  11. Jeremy says:

    Doug you nailed everything perfect! Agree with every point you made, it was all common sense. Makes you wonder how people get in to power positions like Chief of Police but have zero common sense.

  12. wakeup says:

    I think you may be underestimating the amount of prostitution is circulating SF. I definitely wouldn’t consider this “entrapment” as if they wouldn’t have already been looking. There is so many people dealing with their own sexual addiction demons. Most of them are victims of sexual abuse. They are already thinking about getting one all the time. Believe it or not there is tons of prostitutes here in SF and the men that give in to their temptation mostly do it because its so easy. These guys would have gotten a hooker that night anyway. And then maybe contracted HIV or another VD and then got another hooker or slept with a unknowing girlfriend and spread it all around are community. Now these guys with problems have one more reason not to look for prostitutes and hopefully there’s a decrease. Think about it, & don’t be so naive. Its a huge problem with more consequences that can affect you and your family then you think.

  13. JakeNy says:

    Really ProblemSolved? One offense means police should be able to violate your constitutional rights as an American citizen and pull you over under no suspicious circumstances whatsoever? You by far just made the dumbest suggestion I have ever read on Keloland. Sounds like communism behind a curtain. Anyone who thinks texting and driving should be illegal is a fool. Is it dangerous? Absolutely. Should it frowned upon? Absolutely. But making it a law is idiotic and stupid. Every person who votes yes on this bill did not think about if the juice was worth the squeeze. Almost every person I know texts and drives at some point in time. You want to know what every single person will do with this ban in effect? HOLD THEIR PHONES DOWN BY THEIR LAP AND TEXT. Hiding your phone from police is not hard, but it certainly makes driving even more dangerous than it already is. So what else is illegal in my car? Changing my stereo? Changing the song on my iPod? Selecting a destination on my GPS? Eating foot while driving? Every one of these things is just as dangerous; however, the vast majority of voters are still idiotic enough to assume that a ban on texting will instantly makes the roads safer and punish abusers when in reality it won’t. Wake up and smell the coffee people. Your attempts to make the roads more safe will in the end cost more life. If you fail to see that then I don’t want YOU on the road more than I don’t want the texters on the road.

  14. alex says:

    Maybe the cops don’t have enough to do so they make laws so they can pull more people over. Maybe the city council should make it so the cops can’t make these laws.

  15. Mister SF says:

    Doug, A $50 fine is still cheaper than getting married.

  16. RB says:

    Doug,

    I could not agree more with your comments and perspective on this. While everyone appears to be tough on crime and all the police in town are obviously not busy enough… I would think that a fine and court as bad enough for the prostitution entrapment without KELO publishing the names of the guys? Why don’t we just bring back the stocks for the town square and sell rotten Vegetables to throw. Public humiliation…

    As much as the police go overboard, The KELO reporting of the incident was just as poor! I will say I am done with the Sioux falls Police state. For a state and town that is obsessed with small government everyone seems pretty happy to have the police 5 thick 24/7/365. We have to be the most scared public in the country. Buy more guns, hire more police… bad things still happen folks. Sorry

  17. Gabrielle says:

    I’m so glad they got those lonely desperate men off the streets!!! haha i joke i joke. The Sioux Falls police should focus more on the horrible criminals like the people who prey on children. Those are the ones who need to be recognized and taken off the street.

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