Think police are above the law and can do no wrong? If only that were true. The fact is, police are just normal people like the rest of us and despite their years of training and service to the community enforcing laws (especially driving laws) they can be just as stupid as any one else behind the wheel.

New Jersey State Trooper Kevin T. Byrne, 33, of Spring Lake Heights, is an example of this. Byrne has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, careless driving likely to endanger person or property, and leaving the scene of an accident after crashing into two parked cars in a Monmouth County neighborhood, before slamming his trooper’s car into a backyard creek and and fleeing.

The charges are not increased when a police officer commits a crime of any kind, but you can bet it costs him plenty. He will likely lose his job, his career and his future in law enforcement. To say nothing of the fact he will likely be outcast from his circle of police friends.

The State Police’s alcohol policy states that even off-duty troopers are prohibited from drinking, even while on vacation, to the extent it might affect their work because they could be recalled at any time — particularly if they are a member of an emergency response team. Byrne is assigned to the Central T.E.A.M.S. unit, a highly specialized group of emergency responders.

Troopers found in violation of the policy can be dismissed from the force. The final decision rests with Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes.