Passed-Out Cop Collared After "Spectacular" D.U.I

By Will Godfrey 08/08/11

Unconscious cop is rescued from cherry-red pick-up stalled on a busy freeway.

Jason Nokes: Copping out Photo via

If you must be arrested for drunk driving, you might as well do it in grand style. That seems to have been the attitude of 40-year-old Vermont policeman named Jason Nokes, who was nabbed by his colleagues after driving his cherry red pick-up truck at more than four times the legal BAC limit during rush hour. The off-duty Vermont cop, a 15-year veteran of the Winooski Police Department, was spotted by concerned commuters, who called 911 after they noticed his vehicle swerving alarmingly across the northbound lane of Interstate 89 last Friday. When some of his comrades arrived at the scene, they found the truck had come to a halt in the highway median—with Nokes passed out at the wheel. He was taken to hospital and registered a 0.332 BAC, police said—a life-threatening score. It's not the first time Nokes has hit the news. In 2008 he was stabbed by a jilted boyfriend after becoming involved in a messy love triangle. But his knife-wielding assailant escaped jail when witnesses contradicted the cop's claim that the attack was totally unprovoked. Vermont takes drunk driving very seriously: The state's supreme court recently reinstated charges against a man who was accused of operating a boom lift—a slow-moving piece of construction machinery—while he was drunk, ruling that it counts as a "motor vehicle." Nokes may have to give up his career if he's convicted of the charges. For the moment, he's on paid sick leave.

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Will Godfrey is the former editor-in-chief of TheFix. He was also the founding editor-in-chief of, and previously co-founded a magazine for prisoners in London. His work has appeared in Salon, Pacific Standard, AlterNet and The Nation among others. He is currently the Executive Director at FILTER. You can find Will on Linkedin and Twitter.