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Local DUI Attorney Notes that Nobody is Perfect – Even Cops who get Charged with DUI on Election Night


Even in today’s world of zero tolerance, cops themselves find that they are human too. Over the November 2, 2010 election, a Northwest Indiana sheriff’s deputy received a DUI of his own after crashing his car into two parked vehicles. What was he out celebrating? The election of his boss as Sheriff of Porter County, Indiana. Additionally, his accountability is suspect.

He’s not your average deputy though, he is a Corporal with the Porter County Sheriff’s Department. Like many of the other normal, law abiding individuals, Cpl. Ryan Fenters sat most of his day after the election in a jail cell at the Porter County Jail. What is worse is that he is also charged with leaving the scene. Witnesses report the officer “running” from the scene at approximately 1:36 in the morning. Accountability indeed.

Peter Buh, president of, found it unsurprising that a sworn officer would commit a crime that he regularly enforces. “DUI in our country is at the top of the social schedule in politics and statutory enforcement, but rarely does law enforcement appreciate the fact that we are all human and that they are just as human as the rest of us.

“The problem with this case is that Corporal Fenters was honorably decorated with the most DUI arrests in his department in 2004. Hypocrisy lingers in this scenario and it begs the public to question motives and incentives of law enforcement when charging a law abiding citizen with such a life changing arrest.

Although the officer was suspended from his duties with pay as the sheriff’s department conducts a separate internal investigation, Buh questions how the public can trust a system of DUI enforcement when the “heralded become the arrested.”

“Either law enforcement needs to be more objective in arrests, and not so champion oriented, or they need to recognize that drivers who merely have a taillight out are not necessarily DUI just because the officers are working on a quota.” Attorney Buh stated.

As is typical with an internal arrest in law enforcement, Porter County Sheriff David Lain emphasized that the charges are only allegations and do not mean the Corporal is guilty. Does everyone charged with DUI get the same deferment? Not according to president Buh.

“Rarely are there public statements from law enforcement that those arrested are presumed innocent and that the public should expect the same. Decent and hard-working people are arrested for DUI in Illinois and Indiana and throughout the country every day and the officers involved presume that their case is rock solid. It’s an unfortunate aspect of our justice system.” Attorney Buh concluded.

While proclaiming he was not intoxicated, Corporal Fenters, in an ironic twist of the trust that law enforcement places in breathalyzer machines, refused to take a breath test.


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