The Call Box: Deuces Wild

By Ed Meckle, Retired LAPD

lapd callboxTo our out of state and/or non-law enforcement friend, a “deuce” is police slang for a drunk driver. It’s also known as DUI (Driving under the Influence) or DWI (Driving While Intoxicated/Impaired). The term is a leftover from the last number of the old, old vehicle code section for DUI—502 VC.

California seems to breed them. Maybe the warm weather or perhaps the fact that the courts didn’t treat them seriously for many years.

Police officers by their very natures are tellers of good stories. I am sure most have their own, funny, bizarre, strange or just unique deuce stories.

Those I arrested while in uniform were all routine and uneventful. It was only while wearing plain clothes or “God Forbid” off duty, when things got crazy.

Here are a few examples:

I am a young officer only a few months on the job and working night watch at the jail. Iam ride-sharing with another newbie, Lou McClary.

typistIt is about 0100 (1 A.M.) and we are on our way home in civilian clothes, when we have to take action of this DUI is going to kill someone. Neither one of us has ever made an arrest before. Now that we have him, what do we do? The radio car we called to transport him shows us the proper drill.

Then, at the jail, a very kindly clerk typist takes pity on me. “Just tell me what happened, Sweetie. Then go get us some coffee.”

 

When I returned, there awaiting me was a very professional arrest report.

God love her.

lapd-busNow the twist: while awaiting the radio car, we stood around with the deuce for twenty minutes so he got a good look at both of us. When Lou and I went back to work at the jail, who should step off the jail bus but our deuce. I was now in uniform and he was somewhat sober. As I greeted him by name, I got the longest and most exaggerated double-take ever. I told Lou and he went over and again called the deuce by name.

I can only image what was going on through his fuzzy recollection. He was probably thinking, “Just how many of those damn guys are there anyway?”

He took a plea because we never saw him again.

More stories to come!

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