After undercover officers fatally shot an unarmed Queens man named Sean Bell on his wedding day in 2006, the NYPD introduced new guidelines, including a requirement that officers who cause injury or death with their firearms submit to a breath test. Of course, some cops have been known to resist this kind of thing, and police unions swiftly filed a lawsuit arguing that they had a Fourth Amendment right to privacy. Yesterday, a Federal judge shot them down.

Judge George Daniels ruled that "armed police officers are given awesome power. The NYPD has a substantial and practical interest in ensuring that its officers, especially its armed officers, are fit for duty." Reuters reports that on-duty officers are permitted to consume two alcoholic beverages in a bar to maintain their cover. One of the cops who opened fire on Bell's vehicle, detective Gescard Isnora, had downed two drinks at the strip club where Bell was shot. (Isnora had been at the club as part of a prostitution sting.) Isnora was deemed fit for duty by his supervisor at the scene, and wasn't given a breath test after everything went sideways.

In response to the ruling, city lawyer Michael A. Cardozo said, "The breathalyzer test helps deter the use of alcohol—particularly by those who may be compelled to use deadly force." In the other corner, you have the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, which issued a statement saying, "This is an unnecessary policy that seeks to solve a problem that doesn't exist. This union will take every opportunity to ensure that the constitutional rights of our members are protected. We will take this fight as far as necessary." The PBA, always committed to fighting for officers' right to party!