YCQM: November 26, 2017

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. >> Announcer: FROM WCAX, THIS IS
"YOU CAN QUOTE ME."

>> Darren: GOOD MORNING,
EVERYONE. I'M DARREN PERRON.
RIGHT NOW ON "YOU CAN QUOTE ME,"
OVERDOSING BEHIND THE WHEEL.
A GROWING PROBLEM IN VERMONT,
AND FOR POLICE AND PROSECUTORS,
THE CASES CAN BE TOUGH.
WE LOOK INTO WHY THAT IS.
>>> PLUS, WCAX INVESTIGATES WHAT
YOU'RE FLUSHING DOWN THE DRAIN
AND HOW IT COULD LEAVE US ALL
WITH A BIG BILL TO PAY.
>>> PROTECTING VERMONTERS AND
THEIR WALLETS FROM PEOPLE TRYING
TO GET YOUR PERSONAL
INFORMATION. AND REWARDS CARDS, SAVING YOU
CASH BUT THERE'S A TRICKY
TRADE-OFF WHEN YOU USE THEM.
AND THAT'S WHERE WE BEGIN THIS
MORNING.
WHO DOESN'T LIKE A GOOD DEAL?
CUSTOMER REWARDS PROGRAMS
PROMISE THEM AND THEY SURE ARE
POPULAR.
AMERICAN CONSUMERS HAVE
3.8 BILLION MEMBERSHIPS.
BUT THERE CAN BE SOME RISKS.
KRISTIN KELLY REPORTS.
>> Reporter: SPENDING MONEY, BUT
SAVING MONEY AT THE SAME TIME.
>> I WOULD SAY IT'S A WIN-WIN.
>> Reporter: LOYALTY OR CUSTOMER
REWARDS CARDS AND APPS OFFER
THAT, AND MANY OF YOU LOVE THEM.
>> EVERY TIME I GO TO CVS OR
RIGHT AID, I USE THEM.
>> Reporter: AND RETAILERS LOVE
THEM TOO.
SOME STUDIES SHOW THEY CAN KEEP
CUSTOMERS COMING BACK, BUT
EXPERTS SAY THE BIGGER PRIZE MAY
BE WHAT YOU'RE GIVING THE STORE.
>> WHEN CUSTOMERS DECIDE TO SIGN
UP FOR A LOYALTY CARD, THEY GIVE
PERSONAL INFORMATION, WHETHER
IT'S AN EMAIL, A PHONE NUMBER,
OBVIOUSLY YOUR NAME.
>> Reporter: MARIE TEACHES
MARKETING AT ST. MIKE'S.
SHE SAYS RETAILERS TAKE THAT
PERSONAL INFORMATION, COMBINE IT
WITH YOUR SHOPPING PATTERNS,
WHAT YOU'RE BUYING, WHEN YOU'RE
BUYING IT, AND CREATE A PROFILE.
THEY USE THAT TO BETTER TARGET
YOU WITH COUPONS, DISCOUNTS AND
OTHER OFFERS YOU MIGHT ACTUALLY
USE, GETTING YOU TO SPEND MORE.
>> THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT FOR
THEM TO HAVE THAT INFORMATION TO
BE ABLE TO OFFER THE RIGHT
PRODUCTS.
>> Reporter: GOOD FOR RETAILERS,
AND SHE SAYS FOR CUSTOMERS
LOOKING FOR CONVENIENCE AND GOOD
DEALS.
>> SO I THINK IT WORKS WELL.
>> BUT THERE'S A DOWN SIDE.
>> ABSOLUTELY.
CONSUMERS NEED TO KNOW THAT THEY
ARE GIVING UP THEIR PRIVACY.
>> Reporter: THAT'S THE
TRADE-OFF.
YOU'RE ALLOWING INTENSE DIGGING
INTO YOUR SPENDING HABITS IN
EXCHANGE FOR THOSE DISCOUNTS,
AND EXPERTS SAY RETAILERS CAN
REALLY DISCOVER A LOT ABOUT YOU.
ONE EXAMPLE THAT STUNNED SOME
CUSTOMERS AND PRIVACY ADVOCATES,
A 16-YEAR-OLD TARGET SHOPPER IN
MINNESOTA WHO WAS BUYING A
CERTAIN KIND OF MOISTURIZER AND
NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS.
>> TARGET WAS ABLE TO FIGURE OUT
THAT SHE WAS EXPECTING.
>> Reporter: TARGET SENT COUPONS
TO HER FOR BABY-RELATED ITEMS.
HER DAD ACCUSED THE STORE OF
PROMOTING TEEN PREGNANCY, ONLY
TO LEARN FROM HIS DAUGHTER THAT
SHE WAS ACTUALLY PREGNANT.
>> THAT'S HOW MUCH INFORMATION
THEY KNEW.
>> SO I THINK THAT THERE ARE A
LOT OF CONCERNS.
>> Reporter: CHLOE WHITE IS WITH
THE ACLU OF VERMONT AND SAYS
BEYOND THE TRACKING RETAILERS DO
FOR THEIR OWN PURPOSE, SOME SELL
THE INFO THEY GRAERD ON YOU
TO -- GATHERED ON YOU TO OTHER
COMPANIES CALLED DATA BROKERS.
>> THEY BUY AND SELL YOUR
INFORMATION AND THEY WILL DIVIDE
IT INTO DIFFERENT CATEGORIES OR
SCORES.
>> Reporter: DEPENDING ON YOUR
SPENDING HABIT MANY, ZIP CODES,
ACTIVITY ON SOCIAL MEDIA, YOU
CAN END UP ON MULTIPLE LISTS.
FOR EXAMPLE, SINGLE URBAN DADS,
ROMANCE NOVEL SHOULDISTS, AND
PRY -- SHOULDISTS AND PRIVACY
ADVOCATES SAY EVEN ON POTENTIAL
HEALTH RISK LISTS.
DATA BROKERS SELL THE LISTS TO
ANYONE WHO WANTS THEM, EVEN
SCAMMERS HAVE BOUGHT DATA
LOOKING FOR TARGETS.
>> WHAT IF YOUR EMPLOYER STARTS
GETTING SCORES?
>> Reporter: IT SAYS IT COULD
IMPACT THE INTEREST RATES YOU'RE
OFFERED ON LOANS OR IF YOU END
UP ON A HEALTH RISK LIST, EVEN
IF YOU'RE ASKED AT A JOB
INTERVIEW.
>> THEY MY THIS PERSON MIGHT BE
OUT OF WORK A LOT, I DON'T WANT
TO GIVE THEM ALL THIS TIME OFF.
>> Reporter: AND ONCE DATA
BROKERS HAVE YOUR IN, FOR YOU
DON'T HAVE A RIGHT TO CONTROL
IT.
>> YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO SEE YOUR
OWN CREDIT REPORT, BUT YOU DO
NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO SEE WHAT BIG
DATA HAS ON YOU.
>> Reporter: SO CONSUMERS ARE
LEFT WITH A CHOICE.
>> THERE'S A COST AND THE
CUSTOMER HAS TO MAKE UP THEIR
MIND WHETHER OR NOT THEY WANT TO
GIVE UP THEIR PRIVACY.
>> Darren: AND TO TALK MORE
ABOUT THAT, BIG DATA AND
PROTECTING YOUR WALLET, I'M
JOINED NOW BY AN ASSISTANT
ATTORNEY GENERAL HERE IN
VERMONT, RYAN KRIGER.
GOOD MORNING, THANKS FOR BEING
HERE.
>> Kriger: GOOD MORNING.
>> Darren: LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT
IS BIG DATA AND IS ANYBODY
POLICING THIS?
>> Kriger: WELL, AT THE MOMENT,
THE ANSWER REALLY IS NO.
BIG DATA, LIKE YOU JUST SAW IS
COMPANIES THAT SCOOP UP YOUR
DATA FROM LOYALTY CARDS, PUBLIC
INFORMATION, OTHER DATA BROKERS,
AND THEY SELL IT FOR MARKETING,
BACKGROUND CHECKS, THINGS LIKE
THAT.
>> Darren: YOU'RE PART OF A
GROUP THAT IS LOOKING INTO SOME
KIND OF REGULATION OVER BIG
DATA.
IS THIS IN RESPONSE TO THAT HUGE
EQUIFAX BREACH THAT AFFECT
240,000 VERMONTERS?
>> Kriger: ACTUALLY, WE STARTED
TALKING ABOUT DATA BROKERS IN
THE LEGISLATURE LAST LEGISLATIVE
SESSION, AND WE CAME CLOSE TO
PASSING SOME LEGISLATION, BUT
THEN DECIDED TO STUDY IT SOME
MORE AND CREATE A WORKING GROUP.
FOR THE PAST YEAR, A COMBINED
GROUP FROM THE ATTORNEY
GENERAL'S OFFICE AND THE
DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL
REGULATION HAVE BEEN STUDYING
DATA BROKERS.
WE'VE HAD PUBLIC HEARINGS OVER
THE SUMMER, WE HEARD FROM
INDUSTRY, HEARD FROM THE ACLU,
HEARD FROM AMNESTY
INTERNATIONAL, ALL SORTS OF
GROUPS, AND WE HAVE A REPORT
COMING ON DECEMBER 15th.
WE'RE GOING TO BE RECOMMENDING
REGULATION TO THE LEGISLATURE.
THEY CAN TAKE OUR
RECOMMENDATIONS OR NOT.
IF THEY PASS SOMETHING, WE WOULD
BE THE FIRST STATE TO HAVE DATA
BROKER REGULATIONS.
>> Darren: SO WHAT KINDS OF
THINGS CAN BE DONE OR WHAT WILL
YOU BE RECOMMENDING?
>> Kriger: WELL, I CAN'T TOO IN
DETAIL ON THE RECOMMENDATIONS
YET BECAUSE THE REPORT HASN'T
COME OUT YET, BUT CERTAINLY IN
CALIFORNIA A COUPLE YEARS AGO,
THERE WAS A PROPOSAL THAT WOULD
HAVE ALLOWED CONSUMERS TO LOOK
AT THEIR DATA, TO CORRECT DATA,
MUCH LIKE YOU CAN DO WITH YOUR
CREDIT REPORTS CURRENTLY.
SO THAT SORT OF THING.
REALLY TRANSPARENCY AND
UNDERSTANDING ARE THE SORT OF
THINGS WE'RE AIMING FOR.
>> Darren: FEDERAL LAW, THOUGH,
REALLY HASN'T BEEN ABLE TO
REGULATE THIS.
WHAT'S TO SAY VERMONT COULD?
>> Kriger: WELL, THERE ARE A LOT
OF SITUATIONS IN THE PAST WHERE
VERMONT HAS MOVED FASTER THAN
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
WE WERE THE FIRST STATE TO COME
UP WITH LEGISLATION ABOUT PATENT
CONTROLS AND THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT ACTUALLY ALMOST CAME
VERY CLOSE TO ADOPTING
LEGISLATION WHICH IS SIMILAR TO
WHAT WE HAD PROPOSED.
WE HAD BEEN AHEAD OF THE GAME ON
A LOT OF DIFFERENT CONSUMER
PROTECTIONS GOING INTO THE PAST,
AND FRANKLY, THERE ARE A LOT OF
FOLKS WHO DON'T WANT TO SEE
REGULATION AND THAT'S ONE OF THE
REASONS WHY WE HAVEN'T SEEN IT
IN A LOT OF PLACES YET.
>> Darren: THERE IS A REASON,
THOUGH, IT SOUNDS LIKE BIG DATA
IS THIS BIG BAD THING, BUT THERE
IS REALLY A REASON FOR IT.
SAY, BACKGROUND CHECKS.
>> Kriger: ABSOLUTELY.
BACKGROUND CHECKS, FRAUD CHECKS,
YOU KNOW, THERE ARE A LOT OF
BUSINESSES THAT NEED TO KNOW
THAT YOU ARE WHO YOU SAY YOU ARE
AND THEY RELY ON BIG DATA TO DO
THAT SORT OF THING.
EVEN MARKETING.
I MEAN, MARKETING SERVES A
POSITIVE PURPOSE.
A LOT OF PEOPLE LIKE TARGETED
ADVERTISING, THEY LIKE
BUSINESSES THAT CAN PREDICT THE
SORT OF INFORMATION THAT THEY
MIGHT WANT, SO THERE ARE -- I
MEAN, I THINK THE ENGINE OF THE
MODERN ECONOMY, A LOT OF IT DOES
RELY ON BIG DATA AND A LOT OF
FREE INTERNET SITES, THEY'RE RUN
ON ADVERTISING AND THAT
ADVERTISING IS RELIANT ON BIG
DATA TO A LARGE DEGREE.
>> Darren: RYAN KRIGER, THANK
YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME THIS
MORNING.
APPRECIATE YOUR EXPERTISE.
>>> STILL AHEAD, DRUG DRIVING.
MORE PEOPLE OVERDOSING BEHIND
THE WHEEL IN VERMONT, AND NEXT,
JENNIFER COSTA GOES DIGGING FOR
THE GROSS TRUTH ABOUT WHAT WE
FLUSH AND WHAT GOES DOWN CAN
REALLY MESS THINGS UP.
WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE, NEXT ON
CHANNEL 3'S "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."
>> Darren: HOW MUCH THOUGHT DO
YOU GIVE TO WHAT YOU FLUSH?
JENNIFER COSTA REVEALS THE GROSS
TRUTH BEHIND FAT BURGS AND THE
DAMAGE DONE BY PRODUCTS MANY OF
US USE?
>> IF IT GOES DOWN THE DRAIN, IT
COMES TO US.
>> Jennifer: YOU NAME IT, MATT
DOW HAS SEEN IT COME IN FROM THE
SEWER LINES.
>> WIPES, CONDOMS, FEMININE
HYGIENE PRODUCTS, TOYS.
>> Jennifer: WE'RE GOING TO SHOW
YOU WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PEOPLE
FLUSH THINGS THEY SHOULDN'T.
IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME, AND
JUST A WARNING, IT'S GROSS, BUT
IT'S SOMETHING EVERY RATE PAYER
SHOULD SEE BECAUSE WE
DISCOVERED, EVENTUALLY IT WILL
COST YOU.
>> PEOPLE LOOK AT THE TOILET AS
JUST A LIQUID TRASH REMOVAL
SERVICE.
>> Jennifer: BURLINGTON'S
WASTEWATER FACILITIES MANAGER
TELLS US EVERY TIME YOU DUMP A
LITTLE BACON FAT DOWN THE SINK,
YOU'RE HELPING FAT BERGS FORM.
WE GOT ACCESS TO THIS CAMERA
WHICH REVEALS CITY SEWER PIPES
COATED IN LAYERS OF GREASE.
>> Dow: IF IT KEEPS HAPPENING
AND KEEPS HAPPENING, IT REDUCES
HOW MUCH FLOW DID GO DOWN THE
SEWER.
>> Jennifer: IN LONDON, AN
EXTREME EXAMPLE.
WORKERS HAD TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO
DISLODGE THIS ENORMOUS FAT BERG
WEIGHING AS MUCH AS 11 DOUBLE
DECKER BUSES.
BURLINGTON'S 50 MILES OF SEWER
LINES ARE NOWHERE HERE AS LARGE
AS LONDON'S OLD VICTORIAN PIPES,
BUT THE POTENTIAL FOR A BLOCKAGE
IS THE TEAM.
DOW TAKES US TO ANOTHER LOCATION
IN THE CITY WHERE THE EFFECTS OF
CONGEALED FAT ARE MORE OBVIOUS.
IN THIS GRIT CHAMBER, THE WATER
IS AERATED WHICH TURNS THE
GREASE BLOBS INTO BASEBALLS OF
BLUBBER AND THIS IS JUST ONE
MONTH'S OF ACCUMULATION.
>> Dow: THERE'S FOR GOOD WAY OF
GETTING THIS OUT, SO WE HAVE TO
TICK A BUCKET AND MANUALLY PULL
IT UP WITH A ROPE HAND OVER
HAND.
>> Jennifer: WHICH MAKES THE FAT
BERGS EVEN WORSE IS WHEN OIL AND
GREASE MIXES WITH OTHER ITEMS
PEOPLE SHOULDN'T FLUSH, LIKE
SANITARY PADS AND WIPES.
OUR CAMERA CAUGHT A TON OF THESE
PILING UP AT THE PLANT IN THE A
LOT OF BABY WIPES SAY ON THE
BACK 000 NOT FLUSHABLE.
>> Jennifer: DOW SAYS FLUSHABLE
MEANS THE FABRIC WILL PASS
THROUGH THE PIPES TO THE SEWER.
>> Dow: IT DOESN'T NECESSARILY
MEAN IT'S A GOOD THING TO PUT IN
THE SEWER.
AS THE PUMP IS TRYING TO TURN TO
PUSH THE WATER, THEY CAN WRAP
AROUND THE IMPELLER WHICH CAN
CAUSE IT TO MALFUNCTION.
>> Jennifer: THINK OF IT THIS
WAY.
THIS HAND MIXER IS THE PUMP
STATION.
SEE HOW EASILY THE TOILET PAPER
STARTS TO BREAK DOWN WITH JUST A
LITTLE BIT OF AGITATION AND THE
BEATERS ARE LEFT WITH VERY
LITTLE DEBRIS ON THEM.
NOW LET'S TRY THE SAME THING
WITH SO-CALLED FLUSHABLE WIPES.
EVEN WITH AGITATION LIKE BEFORE,
THERE'S VERY LITTLE BREAKDOWN
AND CHECK OUT THE BEATERS.
HE TELLS US AS WIPES ARE
MARKETING TO MORE AND MORE
ADULTS, THE PROBLEM UNDERGROUND
GROWS AND IT'S NOT CHEAP TO FIX.
WE FOUND OUT IT LASTS AT LEAST
$250 EVERY TIME A WORKER GETS
CALLED AWAY FROM REGULAR DUTY TO
CLEAR A WIPE CLOG AND IN THE
LAST FIVE YEARS, THE CITY HAS
SPENT 16,000 ON NEW TECHNOLOGY
THAT'S LESS LIKELY TO CLOG, BUT
ALSO LESS HYDRAULICALLY
EFFICIENT, WHICH MEANS HIGHER
ENERGY COSTS.
>> Dow: WE'RE CHARGED WITH
TRYING TO DO THE BEST JOB WE CAN
TO CLEAN THE WATER BEFORE WE
RETURN IT TO THE LAKE.
>> Jennifer: CAN YOU CHANGE
MENTALITY?
>> Dow: YOU KNOW, PEOPLE HAVE TO
CARE.
THEY HAVE TO HAVE SOME SORT OF
BUY-IN ON IT.
>> Darren: AND THAT'S JUST THE
PRICE TAG FOR WIPES.
TO TALK MORE ABOUT THE COST OF
THIS BUSINESS I'M JOINED NOW BY
MATT DOW.
GOOD MORNING.
>> Dow: GOOD MORNING.
>> Darren: LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT
IS THE SOLUTION HERE.
WE'RE TALKING TENS OF THOUSANDS
OF DOLLARS AND THEN GETTING RID
OF THIS GREASE.
THERE'S MORE COST ADDED TO THAT.
WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?
>> Dow: THE COST -- OR THE
SOLUTION IS JUST TO REALLY THINK
ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE PUTTING DOWN
THE DRAIN BEFORE YOU DO, AND,
YOU KNOW, IF IT DOESN'T COME
FROM YOU AND IF IT'S FOR THE
TOILET PAPER, THEN IT PROBABLY
SHOULDN'T BE GOING DOWN.
>> Darren: IS BURLINGTON'S
SYSTEM REALLY FRAGILE OR ARE WE
SEEING THIS PROBLEM IN OUR
MUNICIPALITIES?
>> Dow: NO, EVERY MUNICIPALITY
IS SEEING ISSUES LIKE THIS.
SOME HAVE DONE MORE OUTREACH AND
THAT'S KIND OF ONE OF THE
REASONS WHY, YOU KNOW, WE WORKED
WITH YOU GUYS ON THIS STORY, AND
IT'S AN EDUCATION THING THAT
PEOPLE JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND
BECAUSE THEY DON'T DO THIS EVERY
DAY.
>> Darren: SO LET'S TALK ABOUT
THESE SO-CALLED FLUSHABLE WIPES.
IT SEEMS LIKE THESE COMPANIES
ARE KIND OF USE THAT TERM PRETTY
LOOSELY.
>> Dow: YEAH.
I MEAN, YOU KNOW, I'VE -- A LOT
OF WHAT WE'VE SEEN IS THERE'S
ALSO A LOT OF CONFUSION THAT
HAPPENS.
SO LIKE JENNIFER'S STORY SHOWED,
THE WIPE CAN BREAK UP A LITTLE
BIT, BUT ONE OF THE OTHER -- THE
BIGGEST PROBLEMS I FIND IS THAT
PEOPLE START THINKING THEY'RE
FLUSHABLE AND NOW THEY'RE
FLUSHING BABY WIPES, THEY'RE
FLUSHING THE CLEANING WIPES THEY
USE FOR MAKEUP, JUST -- IT
CREATES CONFUSION SO THEY DON'T
NECESSARILY THINK ABOUT WHAT
THEY'RE THEN PUTTING IN THE
TOILET BEFORE THEY FLUSH.
>> Darren: WHAT'S SOME OF THE
WEIRDEST STUFF YOU'VE SEEN DOWN
THERE?
>> Dow: YOU KNOW, I MEAN, WE'VE
SEEN EVERYTHING, BUT JEWELRY,
WALLETS, CELL PHONES.
WE'VE HAD PEOPLE CALL LOOKING
FOR DENTURES.
>> Darren: OH BOY.
>> Dow: YOU KNOW, WE'VE SEEN
GOLDFISH THAT HAVE BEEN FLUSHED
FROM, YOU KNOW, NOT MAKING IT AS
A PET ANY LONGER.
YOU KNOW, I COULD PROBABLY WRITE
A BOOK.
>> Darren: I BET YOU COULD.
SO WHAT IS THE MESSAGE THEN TO
BURLINGTON RESIDENTS TO DEAL
WITH THIS PROBLEM?
>> Dow: I MEAN, THE BIGGEST
THING I'D LIKE TO SEE IS PEOPLE
JUST KIND OF CONSIDER WHAT
THEY'RE PUTTING DOWN THE DRAINS.
THE TOILET IS NOT A TRASH CAN.
IT REALLY IS TO JUST TO TAKE
HUMAN WASTE AWAY FROM THE HOUSE,
AND EVEN BEYOND THE TOILET, EVEN
THE DRAIN, LIKE WITH
THANKSGIVING TURKEY GREASE AND
WHATNOT, YOU CAN PROTECT
YOURSELF, YOU CAN PROTECT -- YOU
CAN HELP PROTECT THE CITY BY NOT
FLUSHING ANYTHING THAT MIGHT
BECOME A PROBLEM DOWN THE LINE.
>> Darren: MATT, THANK YOU SO
MUCH FOR JOINING US.
APPRECIATE IT.
KEEP THAT IN MIND NEXT TIME
YOU'RE HEADED INTO THE RESTROOM,
FOLKS.
HAVE A GOOD DAY.
>>> UP NEXT, WHAT CAN BE DONE
ABOUT DRUGGED DRIVING IN
VERMONT.
WCAX INVESTIGATES.
>> Darren: DRUGGED DRIVING IS A
GROWING DANGER ON VERMONT ROADS.
BY THE END OF OCTOBER, 250
PEOPLE HAD BEEN CHARGED WITH
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF
DRUGS OR A COMBINATION OF DRUGS
AND ALCOHOL THIS YEAR.
22 DRIVERS INVOLVED SO FAR THIS
YEAR IN FATAL CRASHES HAVE HAD
DRUGS OR BOTH DRUGS AND ALCOHOL
IN THEIR SYSTEM ACCORDING TO
VTRANS.
NOT ALL OF THOSE DRUGS ARE
OPIATES, BUT A GROWING NUMBER OF
THEM ARE.
WHAT'S BEING DONE TO KEEP YOU
SAFE ON THE ROADS, WHAT
CHALLENGES DO POLICE AND
PROSECUTORS FACE?
CAT VIGLIENZONI INVESTIGATED
THOSE ISSUES AND SAT DOWN WITH
THE HEAD OF VERMONT STATE
POLICE'S SAFETY PROGRAMS TO GET
ANSWERS.
>> Reporter: OCTOBER 5th, SOUTH
BURLINGTON POLICE RESPONDED TO
THIS SCENE AT THE BUSY SHOPPING
PLAZA AT FARRELL STREET AND
SHELBURNE ROAD DURING THE DINNER
HOUR.
>> WE SAW A MAN ON THE GROUND
AND ASLEEP, TRYING TO REVIVE
HIM.
>> Reporter: POLICE SAY THE
DRIVER HAD A TOURNIQUET ON HIS
ARM AND THERE WAS A NEEDLE ON
THE FLOOR OF THIS JEEP WHICH
STOPPED JUST BEFORE CROSSING
INTO ROUTE 7'S TRAFFIC.
THEN MID NOVEMBER, ANOTHER
DRIVER RUNNING OFF THE ROAD IN
THE HENRY COURT NEIGHBORHOOD.
>> THEY FOUND THE OPERATOR HAD
BASICALLY DECEASED, THEY HAD
OVERDOSED.
>> Reporter: OFFICERS USED
NARCAN TO REVIVE THE DRIVER
HERE.
POLICE SAY IN BOTH CASES, THE
MAN HAD OVERDOSED WHILE DRIVING.
>> WE HAD TWO IN A 30-DAY
PERIOD, EXTREMELY CONCERNING.
>> Reporter: THE POLICE CHIEF
CAUSE THESE CASES ANOMALIES,
EXTREME EXAMPLES THAT THE
PERSON'S ADDICTION IS SO SEVERE,
THEY RISK SHOOTING UP WHILE
DRIVING.
>> YOU HAVE SOMEONE IN CONTROL
OF A DEADLY WEAPON.
A VEHICLE AS DEADLY WEAPON.
>> Reporter: HE TELLS US WHEN
OFFICERS ARRIVE ON SCENE, THE
CAR IS THEIR FIRST PRIORITY.
THEY DISABLE IT TO MAKE SURE IT
CAN'T START ROLLING AGAIN AND
THEN THEY FOCUS ON INJURIES.
HE SAYS THEY'VE BEEN LUCKY IN
BOTH OF THESE CASES, ONLY THE
DRIVERS NEEDED AN AMBULANCE.
>> WHAT IF THEY HAD DRIFTED OFF
THE ROAD INTO A POPULATED AREA?
INTO A SCHOOL PLAYGROUND?
WE'RE ABSOLUTELY FORTUNATE WE
HAVEN'T SEEN SOMETHING WORSE.
>> Reporter: THE SCARIEST PART
OF THESE INCIDENTS IS THEY CAN
HAPPEN ANYWHERE ON ROADS YOU OR
I DRIVE EACH DAY, SO RIGHT HERE
NEAR OUR STATION, I WANTED TO
KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO DRIVERS
AFTERWARDS TO MAKE SURE THEY
DON'T DO IT AGAIN.
>> WE'VE CHARGED 62 THIS YEAR.
>> Reporter: CHITTENDEN ASK THE
STATE'S ATTORNEY SARA GEORGE
SAYS NOT ALL DRUGGED DRIVERS
HAVE PASSED OUT BEHIND THE
WHEEL, BUT THEY'VE ALREADY
CHARGED FIVE DOZEN PEOPLE WHO
POLICE SAY WERE HIGH ON THE
ROADS.
>> THAT'S NOT TO SAY THERE
WEREN'T MORE OUT THERE.
THAT'S JUST THE ONE WE'VE
CHARGED.
>> Reporter: BUT AS SHE KNOWS,
CRIMINAL CHARGES ARE NOT ENOUGH
FOR SOME DRIVERS.
>> WE SEE A LOT OF REPEAT NAMES.
WE DO, UNFORTUNATELY.
>> Reporter: IF IT'S THE
DRIVER'S FIRST OFFENSE, THEY
USUALLY GET COUNSELING AND A
SAFE DRIVING COURSE AND THEN A
FINE.
SECOND AND THIRD OFFENSES CAN
START WRACKING UP JAIL TIME.
GEORGE SAYS SHE'S SENSITIVE TO
ADDICTS STRUGGLES, BUT THINK
CROSS A LINE WHEN THEY ENDANGER
OTHERS BEHIND THE WHEEL.
>> YOU'RE PUTTING EVERYBODY ELSE
ON THE ROAD AT RISK.
>> Reporter: AND THAT'S HOW THE
CHIEF SEES IT TOO.
>> I WISH YOU WOULDN'T USE.
I WISH YOU WOULD SEEK TREATMENT.
IF YOU'RE IN A SITUATION WHERE
YOU HAVE TO USE, AS MUCH AS I
CAN, I UNDERSTAND THAT, BUT DO
IT SAFELY AS POSSIBLE.
DON'T DO IT IN THE CAR.
IT'S NO LIMITS, IT CAN BE
ANYWHERE.
>> Reporter: THE POLICE CHIEF
SAYS OVERDOSES ARE NOT UNCOMMON
IN THE CITY, IN PUBLIC
BATHROOMS, PARKING LOTS OR
PRIVATE HOMES, OR ON THE ROADS,
AFTER TWO INCIDENTS THIS FALL
WHERE DRIVERS OVERDOSED BEHIND
THE WHEEL.
>> WHENEVER WE GET SENT TO A
CALL, SOMEONE DOWN ON THE
GROUND, SOMEONE UNCONSCIOUS,
THAT'S THE FIRST THING THAT
COMES TO MIND IS DO WE HAVE
ANOTHER OVERDOSE.
>> Reporter: HE SAYS HE'S ALSO
CONCERNED FOR HIS OFFICERS'
SAFETY AS THEY RESPOND.
OVERDOSE REVERSAL DRUGS ARE USED
FOR UNCONSCIOUS DRIVERS, BUT ARE
ALSO ON HAND IN CASE THE
RESPONDING OFFICERS ACCIDENTALLY
COME INTO CONTACT WITH A DEADLY
DRUG.
WAS THERE THE CONCERN IN THE
DEPARTMENT AT THE SAME LEVEL
FIVE YEARS AGO?
>> ABSOLUTELY NOT, NO.
>> Reporter: AND ONCE THE CASE
IS HANDED TO PROSECUTOR, IT'S
SOMETIMES NOT ENOUGH TO MAKE A
CHARGE STICK.
>> THOSE CASES ARE DIFFICULT FOR
US TO PROSECUTOR GENERALLY.
>> Reporter: SARA GEORGE SAYS
HER OFFICE HAS ALREADY CHARGED
62 SUSPECTED DRUGGED DRIVERS
THIS YEAR, BUT SHE SAYS THEY
FACE CHALLENGES WHEN THOSE CASES
GO TO TRIAL.
DRUNK DRIVING CASES HAVE TESTS
TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE PERSON
IS UNDER OR OVER THE LEGAL LIMIT
FOR ALCOHOL.
SHE SAYS ROAD SIDE DRUG TESTS
DON'T EXIST YET, BUT JURIES
OFTEN EXPECT THAT KIND OF
EVIDENCE.
>> WE'VE HAD JURIES FIND PEOPLE
NOT GUILTY OF DUI DRUGS IN THE
STATE AND HAVE TOLD THE
PROSECUTORS AFTER, THEY DON'T
UNDERSTAND WHY THERE'S NO TEST.
>> Reporter: INSTEAD, HER
DEPARTMENT RELIES ON DRUG
RECOGNITION EXPERTS, OR DREs,
SPECIALLY TRAINED OFFICERS WHO
KNOW HOW TO SPOT SIGNS THAT A
DRIVER IS IMPAIRED BY SOMETHING
OTHER THAN ALCOHOL.
BUT DRE TRAINING IS TIME
CONSUMING AND COSTLY, NOT
SOMETHING ON A DEPARTMENT ON A
TIGHT BUDGET OR SHORT STAFF CAN
ALWAYS ACCUMULATE, BUT GEORGE
SAYS NOT -- ACCOMMODATE, BUT
GEORGE SAYS NOT HAVING ONE CAN
WEAKEN THEIR CASE.
>> SOME OF THE JUDGES IN OUR
STATE RIGHT NOW AROUND EVEN
ACCEPTING OUR CHARGES OF DUI
DRUG UNLESS A DRE MADE THAT
DETERMINATION.
>> Reporter: THE CHIEF CALLS
CASES WHERE PEOPLE SHOOT UP
WHILE DRIVING RARE, BUT
DISHEARTENING.
>> WE HAVE PEAKS AND VALLEYS
WHERE I THINK WE'RE MAKING
PROGRESS AND PEOPLE ARE GETTING
HELP AND WE'RE NOT SEEING THE
RATES OF OVERDOSE, AND NOW THIS
LAST 30-DAY PERIOD, I'VE BECOME
A LITTLE LESS OPTIMISTIC WHEN
SOMEONE'S ADDICTION IS SO
SIGNIFICANT AND SO SEVERE THAT
THEY'RE ACTUALLY TAKING THE RISK
TO USE THE DRUG WHILE DRIVING.
>> Cat: AND WE'RE JOINED BY
LT. JOHN FLANNIGAN.
ONE OF THE POINTS SARA GEORGE
MADE WHEN I SPOKE WITH HER WAS
THEY NEEDED DRUG RECOGNITION
EXPERTS TO DEMEANOR WHETHER
PEOPLE WERE HIGH BEHIND THE
WHEEL-HOW MANY STATE POLICE
OFFICERS HAVE RECEIVED THIS
TRAINING?
>> Flannigan: CURRENTLY WE HAVE
20 AND 32 MUNICIPAL AND OTHER
STATE AGENCIES THAT ARE TRAINED
AS DRUG RECOGNITION EXPERTS.
>> Cat: TALK ABOUT WHAT'S
INVOLVED WITH THAT.
>> Flannigan: IT'S KIND OF A
LENGTHY PROCESS.
THERE'S A SELECTION COMMITTEE
FOR OFFICERS THAT ARE INTERESTED
IN THAT FIELD, AND THEN THERE'S
SOME REAL GRUELING TRAINING.
ABOUT TWO WEEKS IN THE CLASSROOM
AND THEN THERE'S A FIELD
CERTIFICATION PROCESS WHERE THEY
ACTUALLY HAVE TO WORK WITH
SUSPECTED AND CURRENT
INDIVIDUALS BEFORE THEY'RE
CERTIFIED.
>> Cat: AND DO YOU THINK THAT
THIS TRAINING IS SOMETHING THAT
ALL OFFICERS SHOULD HAVE?
>> Flannigan: I DON'T THINK IT'S
REALLY DESIGNED FOR ALL
OFFICERS.
I THINK OFFICERS HAVE TO HAVE A
REAL DESIRE OR PASSION IN
IMPAIRED DRIVING ENFORCEMENT,
FIRST, TO BE ABLE TO EVEN BE
CONSIDERED FOR THIS TYPE OF
TRAINING, SO WE'RE STILL LOOKING
TO BUILD SOME CAPACITY IN THE
PROGRAM BECAUSE WE WANT TO MAKE
SURE WE'RE MEETING THE NEEDS
ACROSS THE STATE.
>> Cat: AND OFFICERS WHO DON'T
HAVE THIS DRE TRAINING, ARE THEY
ABLE TO TELL WHEN A DRIVER IS
IMPAIRED STILL TO A CERTAIN
DEGREE?
>> Flannigan: I THINK WE'VE MADE
SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS IN THAT
AREA OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS.
WE DO OFFER A SORT OF
INTERMEDIATE TRAINING PROGRAM
CALLED ARIDE.
ADVANCED ROAD SIDE IMPAIRED
DRIVING ENFORCEMENT THAT MOST
NEW OFFICERS COMING TO THE
POLICE ACADEMY ARE PAN DATED TO
ATTEND THAT TRAINING -- MANDATED
TO ATTEND THAT TRAINING, SO IT'S
GIVING THEM SOME MORE EXPERIENCE
TO LOOK FOR SUSPECTED DRUG
IMPAIRED DRIVERS.
>> Cat: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE
SIGNS THAT PEOPLE LOOK FOR IN
DRUG IMPAIRMENT VERSUS SOMETHING
LIKE ALCOHOL IMPAIRMENT?
>> Flannigan: I THINK MOST
PEOPLE KNOW OR HAVE HAD
EXPERIENCE EITHER THEMSELVES OR
SEEN SOMEONE ELSE IMPAIRED BY
ALCOHOL AND WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT
OTHER SUBSTANCES, IT'S VERY
TRICKY BECAUSE SOME OF THE DRUG
CATEGORIES PRODUCE DIFFERENT
EFFECTS IN OUR BODIES, SO IT ALL
REALLY DEPENDS ON WHAT THE
SUBSTANCE OR SUBSTANCES ARE, BUT
THERE'S A LOT OF THINGS WE LOOK
INTO AS FAR AS THE LOOKING INTO
THEIR EYES, THE SIDE OF THEIR
PUPILS, OVERREACTIONS, WHETHER
THEIR BODY SYSTEMS ARE SPED UP
OR SLOWED DOWN.
>> Cat: AND LOOKING OVER THE
DATA FROM THE LAST FOUR YEARS,
IT APPEARS THERE'S AN INCREASE
IN ARRESTS FOR DRUGGED DRIVING
SPECIFICALLY VERSUS DRUNK
DRIVING.
IS IT ACTUALLY GOING UP, OR ARE
WE GETTING BETTER AT TELLING
WHEN PEOPLE ARE IMPAIRED?
>> Flannigan: THAT'S A QUESTION
I OFTEN GET AND I THINK IT'S A
LITTLE BIT OF BOTH.
I THINK WE HAVE A SIGNIFICANT
ISSUE ON OUR HIGHWAYS WITH
IMPAIRED FOLKS BY SUBSTANCE
OTHER THAN ALCOHOL OR IN
COMBINATION WITH ALCOHOL, BUT I
THINK AS LAW ENFORCEMENT IS
GETTING BETTER AT DETECTING AND
RECOGNIZING THOSE SIGNS AND
SYMPTOMS.
>> Cat: OKAY.
AND THERE'S BEEN A BIG PUSH TO
RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT OPIOIDS
AND TO TRY TO COMBAT THE OPIOID
CRISIS.
ARE WE MAKING PROGRESS,
ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO
IMPAIRED DRIVING?
>> Flannigan: YES.
I DON'T KNOW REALLY IF WE'RE
MAKING PROGRESS.
I THINK IT'S STILL A SIGNIFICANT
ISSUE AND IT'S NOT JUST OPIOIDS
RIGHT NOW.
IT'S OTHER DRUGS, SEDATIVES,
SORT OF THE BEN TO DIAZEPINE
CLASSES OF DRUGS THAT PEOPLE ARE
USING AND IN SOME CASES ABUSE
BE, ESPECIALLY WITH DRUG-DRUG
INTERACTION.
A LOT OF CASES ARE POLY DRUG
USE, SO WE'RE SEEING TWO OR MORE
DIFFERENT DRUGS IN SOME OF THESE
INSTANCES.
>> Cat: ONE OF THE THINGS THAT
THE STATE'S ATTORNEY CAN MENTION
TO ME IS THE NUMBER OF DRUG
CASES THEY'RE PROSECUTING WITH
PRESCRIPTIONS.
IS THIS SOMETHING WE'RE SEEING
THROUGHOUT THE STATE?
>> Flannigan: WE DO SEE A NUMBER
OF PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS THAT
ARE IMPAIRING INDIVIDUALS.
AGAIN, A LOT OF THESE DRUGS ARE
BEING USED WITH OTHER ILLICIT
DRUGS SUCH AS MARIJUANA,
COCAINE, AND HEROIN.
>> Cat: AND WHAT'S THE MESSAGE
FOR DRIVERS ON THE ROAD?
>> Flannigan: IT'S NOT JUST
ABOUT ALCOHOL.
IT'S ANY SUBSTANCE, EITHER
LEGALLY OR ILLICITLY YOU'RE
TAKING.
STAY OFF THE ROAD, JUST LIKE WE
WOULD SAY WITH ALCOHOL MESSAGES,
DON'T DRIVE.
USE A DESIGNATED DRIVER OR FIND
ALTERNATE TRANSPORTATION BECAUSE
DRUGS BEING PRESCRIBED OR
ILLICIT DRUGS CAN IMPAIR YOUR
ABILITY TO OPERATE A VEHICLE.
>> Cat: LT. FLANNIGAN, THANK YOU
SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.
>> Darren: AND THAT WILL DO IT
FOR "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."
THE NEWS CONTINUES NEXT RIGHT
HERE ON CHANNEL 3, THE WEEKEND
TEAM STANDING BY.
TAKE CARE, EVERYBODY.
HAVE A GOOD DAY AND WE'LL SEE
YOU SOON.
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