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Cops allowed to work 'half drunk' in Suburban Chicago

(WMAQ-TV) Do you think your police department has a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol?

Think again.

Many suburban departments actually have clauses in their union contracts which prevent any kind of discipline for officers with substantial amounts of alcohol in their systems — even those nearing the state definition of legally drunk, an investigation by the Better Government Association and NBC Chicago reveals.

“I worry about it every day,” said Sam Pulia, the mayor of west suburban Westchester.

Pulia, himself a former Westchester police officer, tried unsuccessfully to stop ratification of his department’s union contract which only allows discipline against officers when they hit an alcohol level of .05.