Neighborhoods and Drunks

Neighborhoods and Drunks

This is a discussion on Neighborhoods and Drunks within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I know, you read the title and your mind is already made up. "Don't get involved. Drunks and firearms are a big mistake." True enough, ...

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Thread: Neighborhoods and Drunks

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array SixBravo's Avatar
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    Neighborhoods and Drunks

    I know, you read the title and your mind is already made up. "Don't get involved. Drunks and firearms are a big mistake." True enough, but what have we always told ourselves about blanket statements? For instance... what happens when the drunks find you or some kids? The following happened in North Phoenix off of 32nd Street on Saturday 26 APR. I was in the house next door.

    The neighborhood is generally very quiet. Typical in its group of close families, lots of kids, some college guys and retirees. Not perfect but the kids are safe enough to run around in packs and play street hockey or ride bikes. It is also right off a major street (32nd).

    Well a woman driving a Red Chevy Camaro decided it might be a good idea and try to take the turn into the neighborhood at excessive speed - while highly intoxicated. The car under-steered, drove up over the sidewalk and crashed through a small cinderblock wall that encloses the backyard. She hit hard enough to knock a block into a wall of the house. Deciding maybe she should leave, she pops the car into reverse and backs away. As if that isn't enough, she floors the car and takes off into the neighborhood. To do this, she had to dodge between my sedan, a truck and a sports car on the street that effectively left one lane of traffic. She made it through somehow and actually got about half a mile into the neighborhood before the engine seized. The DUI actually floored it the whole way while cinderblocks fell off the car.

    Typically, my buddies and I sit outside in the garage and tool on cars or just enjoy the day. I'm always armed. We picked this one day to lay low and watch a movie inside and were none the wiser until my friend's wife brought it to our attention. Personally, I'm still amazed she didn't kill anyone. I have a large hatred for drunks but this just completely blew me away. People started asking if any of the neighborhood kids had been in the street playing. It made me wonder what I might do if I had been outside when it went down.

    Phoenix PD supposedly responded within a few minutes and we have patrol cars in and out of the neighborhood all the time. The car was already dead and she was fleeing on foot when they arrived. At the end of the day, nobody was hurt except for the driver who was taken into custody.



    Suppose you had been me? Outside. You see the car hit the wall. Kids are playing street hockey or riding bikes just up the road. Assuming most of us would stand up and head over towards the accident, what would your reaction be to see her gun the engine and put the car into gear? Draw? Issue commands? Could you fire with so many unknowns? When do you make those distinctions when you literally only have 3-5 seconds between her backing out of the wall and driving away?
    Last edited by SixBravo; April 30th, 2008 at 12:33 PM. Reason: Edited to add photo.
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  2. #2
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    Array Bark'n's Avatar
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    That's a tough one Six... Hardly a moment to make a decision.

    On the surface, I would think I would be more apt, not to draw and fire on her, unless she was actively trying to run me down.

    I know, I would not want her to hurt anyone playing in the streets or in the immediate vicinity but god forbid, if anyone was hurt by her actions, it would be her doing. It would be her responsibility.

    As it was, no one was injured, and to shoot into a moving car to prevent an unknown possibility kind of rubs me wrong.

    Again, with only a moment to react, I'm thinking I would do my best to get out of her way and only shoot if I could not get out of the way and she was intentionally trying to run me down.

    I would at least try to pursue her in order to get a license plate number and ensure I could identify her and the car later if it was safe to follow her.

    I certainly would not get into a high speed pursuit with her unless she had mowed down a street full of kids. (Maybe... as a medic, I would probably be compelled to stay and render aid to victims as opposed to giving chase)

    Also bear in mind, this is playing what if... and who the hell knows what they really would do unless it was playing out right in front of them.

    I hope I understood your question correctly.

    Interesting food for thought!
    -Bark'n
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    I'll second Bark'n conclusion. Very hard sceaniro to 'armchair quaterback'. Unless the drunken idiot is activly trying to run down me or mine........

    I do know I would NOT give chase in my vehicle through the neighborhood.
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    I believe you would have difficulty claiming you had to shoot a drunk who was trying to run you down, OMO.
    Call 911 and be a good witness...now a drunk would be easy to follow and still be on the phone with the cops...remember, CALL the cops, because you're NOT a cop...

    Stay armed...watch out for drunks...stay safe!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Stirling XD's Avatar
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    I tend to agree with everyone else on this one. Even though she's gunning the engine, you don't know for certain which direction she intends to go. She could decide that she is going to make a u-turn and leave the neighborhood. Plus, if you think that shooting is better than letting her drive when kids are present, you are likely to be asked if shooting when kids are present is just as dangerous if not more.

    In this situation, you probably got confirmation she was drunk latter on. But in the heat of the moment, it would be difficult to know that for sure. I would hate shoot someone that was in diabetic shock or something.

    I do wonder what everyone's thoughts are on shooting to disable the car. Would you feel justified in shooting out the tires if you thought you do so safely? Say you were next to the car and you knew the bullets would go throught he tires and into the dirt. Any thoughts?

  6. #6
    Member Array Spenser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stirling XD View Post
    I do wonder what everyone's thoughts are on shooting to disable the car. Would you feel justified in shooting out the tires if you thought you do so safely? Say you were next to the car and you knew the bullets would go throught he tires and into the dirt. Any thoughts?
    I was wondering the same thing.

    Also, if you do manage to shoot her while she's in the car, after she's floored it, a dead/seriously injured drunk driver could be just as bad as an alive and well drunk driver.

    I think I'd have to hold back on shooting at her. Although it sounds like it would be a frustrating decision. I don't take too well to people who have no regards for their actions when it puts others at risk.
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  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array SixBravo's Avatar
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    I posted a picture I got from a friend in the OP. I'll try to get more later today.

    As you can see, the tire was already flat. Shooting them probably would not solve any problems that haven't been negated.

    I personally am not sure what I would have done in the situation, but giving chase certainly isn't one of them. Not in a car, anyhow. But one question was quite good: "If its not safe for a drunk because of kids, what about shooting?" I hadn't thought of that.

    I'm still interested to hear what others think about this.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Array HowardCohodas's Avatar
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    I wonder if a case could be made for at least "brandishing?" I think the sight of a pistol pointing at her may penetrate her mental fog.
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  9. #9
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SixBravo View Post
    But one question was quite good: "If its not safe for a drunk because of kids, what about shooting?" I hadn't thought of that.

    I'm still interested to hear what others think about this.
    I believe the statement answers itself...... kids+drunk behind the wheele+bullets= BAD......

    Unless the drunk behind the wheele is actively running down children and/or adults then bringing your sidearm to bear is a no-no and you will have to answer as to why you felt it necessary to 'throw lead' to the police/grand jury/jury of your peers/judge.
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Stirling XD's Avatar
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    If you rule out all other options, I would start yelling at kids to get out of the street and go inside. At least then, you would be doing something besides watching helplessly as a bad event unfolded.

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    Member Array stickybeatz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stirling XD View Post
    If you rule out all other options, I would start yelling at kids to get out of the street and go inside. At least then, you would be doing something besides watching helplessly as a bad event unfolded.
    this would probably be my first option

  12. #12
    Member Array CelticWarrior13's Avatar
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    First...shooting tires doesn't disable vehicles (just watch any of those video shows on TV and you'll see cars can go for miles on rims at very high speeds...it does however make them less controllable) Second, shooting a tire is a use of deadly force (at least in my State) since you're discharging a firearm and while you can aim you can't be certain that the shot won't ricochet.

    I would yell for people to clear the street, call or have someone call 911, be the best witness you can be, follow safely if you can (don't pursue)

    You are not justified in any jurisdiction to utilize deadly force to stop a DUI, especially for trying to flee the scene of a property damage crash...if you (not being a police officer - who has no duty to retreat and in fact has a duty to act) goes out and stands in the way of the vehicle it could be argued you placed yourself into the situation where you had to shoot (right or wrong) If of course you went out there to check on the "victim" and then they attempted to run you down that would be a different story...the vehicle becomes a deadly weapon and you'd be justified (IMHO)

    Glad no one was hurt...good thing no kids playing in the street that day! I don't want to be judgemental or to try to start anything...but when I was a road patrol officer (many, many years ago) this was a pet peeve of mine - we'd get calls from parents wanting us to work traffic because cars were "speeding" down the road while their kids were trying to play in the street...now I grew up playing in the street too, but that's not what they're designed for...they're for the cars!

    Glad everyone is safe though!

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Having a CHL does not make you a LEO and we shouldn't act as such,in the above case or similar if you can safely turn off car and remove keys,I would also yell for any kids to get off the street while calling 911,most drunks like that have such screwed up thought processes you could aim a bazooka at them and they would ignore it.as far as following a car i would if i have the opportunity while on phone with 911 but a car in that condition i'm sure will be getting plenty of location updates from everybody seeing it
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Array mulle46's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CelticWarrior13 View Post
    First...shooting tires doesn't disable vehicles (just watch any of those video shows on TV and you'll see cars can go for miles on rims at very high speeds...it does however make them less controllable) Second, shooting a tire is a use of deadly force (at least in my State) since you're discharging a firearm and while you can aim you can't be certain that the shot won't ricochet.

    You are not justified in any jurisdiction to utilize deadly force to stop a DUI, especially for trying to flee the scene of a property damage crash...if you (not being a police officer - who has no duty to retreat and in fact has a duty to act) goes out and stands in the way of the vehicle it could be argued you placed yourself into the situation where you had to shoot (right or wrong) If of course you went out there to check on the "victim" and then they attempted to run you down that would be a different story...the vehicle becomes a deadly weapon and you'd be justified (IMHO)

    Glad everyone is safe though!
    As a LEO, I AM not going to stand in the way of a drunk driver who has demonstrated a complete lack on control. I will call for help, follow the driver but I will not attempt to stop the drunk when I am off-duty and without a vehicle. In my state, any discharge of a firearm is considered deadly force. As LEO's, firing at a vehicle is almost forbidden, but it is certainly highly discouraged as most handgun calibers WILL not stop a vehicle.
    You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." . . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt

  15. #15
    Member Array CelticWarrior13's Avatar
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    Mulle,

    I thought that's basically what I pointed out in my post (That it's a UoDF, shooting won't stop the vehicle, encouraged them to be the best witness, etc... maybe I didnt' make it clear?)

    I too am a LEO (have been for almost 25 years) and I also would not stand in the way of a vehicle (for any reason as it can kill you - and you won't win even if you shoot the driver) but "legally" (at least in my State) they can (as was proven in the William Lozano case...unfortunately after he served 3+ years in prison - he won it on appeal) as a LEO does not have a duty to retreat. The same is not true of a non LEO.

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