The New York Times
October 19, 2007

Manhattan: Union Challenges Sobriety Tests

The union representing 24,000 New York City police officers is challenging a new departmental policy requiring mandatory sobriety tests of any police officer who shoots someone, wounding or killing him. The union, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, filed papers in federal court yesterday challenging the sobriety tests on constitutional grounds. The union argued that the tests violate an officer’s protection against unreasonable searches, according to a statement from the union president, Patrick J. Lynch. Earlier this week, unions representing detectives, sergeants and lieutenants filed papers in federal court against the sobriety tests. “We believe the sobriety test is a reasonable requirement and anticipate the courts will find it so,” said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman. Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly announced the new policy in June when he accepted the recommendations of a panel created after a Queens man, Sean Bell, was fatally shot in November in a volley of 50 bullets fired by officers.