Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Car Did It

Today, gentle reader, I would like to call your attention to a case study in Wisconsin being the weirdest state in the whole of the Union.

Attached to this blog post, you will find the image of a screen capture I took while doing some research on a story today. It is part of the rather lengthy RAP sheet of one Brian J Britz, which you can find using the state of Wisconsin's CCAP. Specifically, this screenshot refers to the Milwaukee County case numbered 2000CV009662, which just so happens to be something of a mystery.

Not only does this file list none of the details regarding the charges or sentences that were brought against Mr. Britz in 2000 (rather, this one specific case in 2000...Mr. Britz was in court multiple times in 2000), but it lists as his co-defendent a 1990 Oldsmobile Regal.

Whatever it was Mr. Britz was charged with, his accomplice was a car.

Now it's not that I don't find Mr. Britz's recent exploits interesting. While the original story (link above) credits him with achieving his 10th DUI, there was some speculation later in the day among various sources that it may have been his 11th, or even his 12th, and even in Wisconsin, most people get it figured out by their 5th or 6th.

But to have committed a crime and been aided or abetted by an automobile...that's something I just don't see in my usual day-to-day diggings. I must admit this story has captured my imagination and rivetted my curiosity, and I am vowing now to find more answers.

Also, there's the matter that Oldsmobile never manufactured the Regal line -- that was a Buick model. A quick run of the VIN on Carfax returns the car as a 1990 Oldsmobile Regency, another unfortunate line from that same time period. It's surprising the car was even still running when 2000 rolled around, but I guess it just adds to the enigma.

Until I can get my open records request into the Milwaukee County DA's office (and wait several months for a reply), however, there's nothing to stop me or anyone else from wildly, irresponsibly speculating what this absurdity of a CCAP case entry might mean. It certainly opens up a number of questions.

First and foremost, did the Milwaukee County District Attorney's office seriously charge an inanimate object with a crime, or is this more like something out of Stephen King, where the car was possessed by some kind of evil spirit and went on a killing rampage?

Was the Regency given a jury trial, or did it take a plea deal? What happened to it after its time in court? Was it locked up in a salvage yard until it paid its debt to society? Is it free now? Was it put to death in the smelting chamber?

I think it's likely from the Regal/Regency discrepency that this case involved some kind of identity fraud on the part of the car, Mr. Britz or both. Perhaps the Regency was an illegal immigrant... rrr, import... and Britz arranged to have it smuggled into the country via Great Lakes container ship, though how he would be clever enough to accomplish that in the midst of racking up ten (or more) DUIs goes beyond my comprehension.

I would certainly be interested in any other theories there might be as to what this is all about, as long as they're not boring and grounded in fact.


Anonymous said...

There's nothing unusual about this at all. First of, it's not a criminal case, it's a civil case. More likely than not Mr. Britz probably had some sort of probation condition which prohibited him from owning a car. This is likely a reposession action for the state to seize the car.

Dustin Christopher said...

Anonymous... yes... yes, clearly that is a likely possibility. It's also boring, and not very fun at all... You get a B for Effort, a C- for Imagination and an F for Appreciation of the Absurd. Consider my buzz killed.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if the car used in a crime is a model that does not exist, it must in turn be put on trial. I believe that this may have been a fun factoid on a beer bottle's label that Britz saw. So, knowing there was a possible loophole in the system he took his non existant car out for a spin along with his (seemingly) nonexistant brain.

Also, perhaps the car had one of those breathalizers in it that must be blown in order to drive. If that breathalizer malfunctions, then doesn't it follow that it's as much the car's fault as Britz's that he drove drunk (again)?

Emily said...

Maybe this guy and his car are just the poor man's Knight Rider.

Anonymous said...

Yup. His car was no doubt taken because he violated a prior court order or condition of bail, Dusty. It's not that unusual even to get make/model wrong.


Anonymous said...

Anon. (below) got it right, Dusty. It's also not a shock that they got make/model wrong on the vehicle.

Buzzkill #2...


Dustin Christopher said...

Anon #2, I like the cut of your jib. Emily, are we talking about a poor man's nightrider original or remake? Because it makes a difference to me.

pricklypearbloom said...

Dude, that's perplexing. Although I guess not considering the anonymous commenters. Way to ruin the fun. I'll just pretend I didn't read them and continue laughing.

Also, props on the entry and denoument references to Stephen King.

embiggened said...

Two words: Trans. Formers.

illusory tenant said...

Not to worry, J.B. Van Hollen will be there to prevent 1990 Olds Regal from voting.

Killed By Drunk Drivers said...

Other than this being Wisconsin, why isn't this pile of shit of a person rotting away in prison? It is only a matter of time until he is behind the wheel again and kills someone. obviously with 9, 10, or 11 drunk drivings, he hasn't learned any kind of lesson. The only lesson learned is that he can drive drunk many, many times and get away with a fine, and do it again.