KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho – Post Falls Police Officer Brenda Knight was cited and charged with an excessive DUI over the weekend when her Jeep ended up in a ditch. On Tuesday, we reported the story and a viewer reached out to us claiming to be the one who called 911 and wanted to know why Knight was not taken to jail.
So we took those questions to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office for answers.
We want to preface this story by saying that we would not normally cover a DUI case like this, but as a law enforcement officer, we believe Officer Knight should be held to a higher standard.
Now, as to her being cited and released – it is not extremely uncommon. It is though, case by case.
The primary reason that authorities take a drunk driver to jail is so that they can be identified, documented, and then post a bond as a promise to appear in court.
Court documents said Officer Knight had a blood-alcohol-level of nearly three times the legal limit. A responding KCSO deputy detained her, performed sobriety tests, and determined that she had been drinking. He then charged her with an excessive DUI.
Next, Officer Knight was not taken to jail, but was rather released to another sober driver who arrived to take her, and her car home.
That prompted a response on our Facebook page from the woman who said she was the one who called 911. She wanted to know why Officer Knight was let go.
KSCO deputies said the purpose of taking someone to jail is to identify them and where they live.
In a statement, a sheriff’s office spokesman said the following:
“In this incident, the investigating Deputy already could positively confirm Officer Brenda Knight’s identity, address, place of employment, and also knew photographs and fingerprints are readily available. Additionally, the investigating Deputy had no reason to believe that Officer Brenda Knight will fail to appear in court nor did he in any way considered her flight risk.”
The spokesman also pointed out that the deputy’s decision not to take Officer Knight to jail in no way alleviates the seriousness of the situation. Like any other citizen, she was charged with a DUI on the spot.
If convicted, Knight faces a maximum penalty of a year in jail, a $2,000 fine, and having her license suspended for a year.