9/9/2008Arizona Speed Camera Van Pulled Over for DUI
Speed camera van busted for DUI in Scottsdale, Arizona.
A speed camera van driver in Scottsdale, Arizona was arrested Saturday at 6:30pm, accused of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). A retired police officer spotted Roderick Ruffin, 53, driving erratically on Scottsdale Road and dialed 911. Ruffin had been behind the wheel of an official van registered to the Australian photo radar contractor Redflex Traffic Systems and was headed toward Tempe about to begin issuing automated speeding tickets to other motorists on that city's behalf.
"He's weaving all over the place," the concerned motorist explained to the 911 operator. "He's hit the curb twice. He's almost hit other vehicles in the number one lane."
Before Ruffin could reach his destination, however, Scottsdale Police intercepted the photo enforcement van.
"When the officer contacted the driver, he could smell alcohol on the driver's breath," Scottsdale Police said in a prepared statement. "The officer asked the driver to perform the standard field sobriety tests, the results of which indicated impairment."
Ruffin was booked after police testing showed his blood alcohol content (BAC) appeared to exceed 0.15, well beyond the legal limit. Redflex terminated Ruffin's employment upon learning of what the company called an apparent "reckless lapse of judgment."
"The company deeply regrets and apologizes to the community for the incident, and expresses its gratitude to the Scottsdale Police for making the arrest and removing the offending driver from the road," Redflex said in a statement.
Scottsdale city officials are quick to point out that Redflex no longer runs the city's speed camera program having handed the lucrative photo ticketing contract over to rival vendor ATS in 2007. Redflex insists that it conducts thorough background checks on its employees, but this is not the first time that drivers for the Australian firm have had run-ins with the law. Earlier this year a Redflex employee in Lafayette, Louisiana was arrested while using a personal vehicle.
National Motorists Association President Jim Baxter expressed outrage that a contractor running what is supposed to be a public safety program was found drinking on the job.
"While I can understand how depressing and demeaning it must be to fleece my friends, neighbors and other hard-working citizens," Baxter said, "the better solution would be to find a new job and not endanger the traveling public."