Things to do when you’re an off-duty cop in Ocean City, Maryland: visit theĀ  Life-Saving Station Museum (again), hit the boardwalk (again), check out Assateague Island’s wild ponies (again) or . . . eat and drink. Why not feast on Maryland crabs and Delmarva fried chicken, all washed down with an ice cold beer? You might have to loosen that gun belt a bit, but go on, you deserve it! No wait. Don’t. reports that the City Council has just passed an new departmental rule mandating that off-duty officers carrying a gun must have a blood-alcohol concentration of zero. That’s zilch, niente, nada. On top of the existing rule, which already prohibits police from having any alcohol for eight hours prior to a scheduled shift. “You wanna drink, go to a party, leave your gun at home,” Councilman Jim Hall said. It could have been worse; an earlier draft of the rule would have mandated that off-duty police couldn’t carry a gun for eight hours after having had a drink, regardless of their BAC. The Council’s diktat is seven kinds of stupid. For one thing, who’s going to enforce this? For another, because the zero BAC level gun ban won’t be enforced, cops who may be seriously drunk will slip through the net—until something bad happens. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.


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