A class action lawsuit has been filed in another western state concerning individuals that claim to have been falsely accused of drinking while driving. Though the state patrol officer in question has since been fired, it is believed that hundreds of individuals were wrongfully accused of DUI.
A number of individuals allege that they pled guilty because they could not afford to defend themselves in court. Some guilty pleas have led to vehicles being forfeited, and many others have likely lost their jobs.
One individual was jailed for a short time until a test revealed his blood alcohol level as being zero. It is believed that she arrested a number of individuals for alleged marijuana impairment as well when there was no evidence of drugs being in these individuals’ systems.
The arresting officer was at one time named the state trooper of the year in her jurisdiction. It is believed that the award was given to her based on the high number of DUI arrests she participated in as the arresting officer. While it is possible that many of the arrests did stand up in court, it appears that many of the cases involving this state trooper will now be dismissed.
Though this trooper is hopefully not an example of other state troopers upon the road, this matter does demonstrate the amount of control that arresting officers can have concerning drinking related offenses. It is for this reason that experienced criminal defense attorneys are needed to contest any sorts of evidence that is not reliable or relevant.
Source: Fox31 Denver, “Lawsuit claims Utah police officer made falsified DUI arrests,” by Brittany Green-Miner, Jan. 3, 2013
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