Woman Has Half a Glass of Wine, .02 BAC, Gets Charged With Felony DUI

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Police arrested, cuffed, and hauled her away in front of her kid–all because a man in a restaurant mistook the glasses of water she was drinking for wine, then called the police. The comments to the story are rather interesting, too. Read them and draw your own conclusions about this mysterious man who was watching her in the restaurant.

The reporter finds another case in which a woman was charged with DUI after blowing .03 on a breath test, because the cops were convinced she was on drugs. When lab tests proved them wrong, prosecutors pushed ahead with the charges anyway.

In both cases, the women eventually beat the charges, but incurred thousands of dollars in legal bills. That seems to be the choice in these cases. Even if you’re completely innocent, your options are to plead guilty and accept your punishment, or fight the charges, in which you risk the wrath of the judge if you’re convicted, and spending thousands of dollars you won’t get back even if you’re acquitted.

Here’s the fun part:

But I was struck by something as I talked to Sifford. She begged me not to read too much into the police report — in the officer’s account of her field sobriety tests, she was sniffing constantly, her pulse was above normal, and she swayed. Reading that, without the results of the urine test, you might assume she was coked-up.

But that’s the thing about these reports. You can see it on Shannon Wilcutt’s, too.

Shannon Wilcutt had a 0.02 blood alcohol content, but the police report notes a “moderate” odor of alcohol on her breath. How is that possible? It also says that her speech was “slurred” and she had dried blood on her lips. That couldn’t possibly be related to dental surgery, could it?

The cops were building their cases; it was up to Wilcutt and Sifford to find lawyers willing to ferret out the truth.

The officers are only doing their job, but their job is to bust drunk drivers. That’s what the Legislature wants, what the governor wants, and what the public wants. From the minute the cops pull you over, they assume you’re drunk.

It’s your job to prove yourself innocent.

These aren’t even the worst cases. The California Highway Patrol was recently exposed for using standard, cut-and-paste boilerplate about “the scent of alcohol” and “slurred speech” in all DWI arrests. Some defendants whose blood tests came back negative filed an open records request, revealing the word-for-word descriptions on the arrest reports. Wouldn’t that be pretty good evidence that the officers had perjured themselves?

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58 Responses to “Woman Has Half a Glass of Wine, .02 BAC, Gets Charged With Felony DUI”

  1. #1 |  Dave Krueger | 

    It’s not about guilt of innocence and it certainly has nothing to do with cops and prosecutors being good at finding the bad guys. It’s about giving the public some feel good numbers (and the public is complicit in the sorry state of affairs).

    Once the prosecutors have their hooks in you, you’ve already lost. They over-charge in order to intimidate you into pleading out. They will tell you any lie necessary to win. If you go to trial, the jury is going to be biased in favor of the prosecution. And, no one likes a trial. It’s work and, for the most part, no one wants to do work if there’s a way out of it. You’re just a number, a defendant. And even your closest friends will think you must have done something wrong if they charged you with a crime. Finally, if you win, you’ll be broke whereas for the prosecutor, it’s just another day at the office.

    But, cheer up. Statistically, you still have a pretty good chance it will never happen to you. Which is, of course, the reason no one really gives a shit.

  2. #2 |  Nando | 

    What I’m wondering is, how they are able to arrest her when the officer never witnessed her driving a car? I know this is in AZ, and I’m not a lawyer, but I know for a fact that in CA the “arresting” officer has to be the “witnessing” officer, meaning that, even in the case of a traffic ticket (considered an “arrest” but you’re released in lieu of a court appearance and fine), the officer writing the ticket has to witness you commit the infraction. He cannot take the word of another officer or citizen and write you up. The reason? It’s considered hearsay.

    So, if these officers never saw this lady driving, and only have the hearsay evidence provided by the witness, how is it that they can charge her for DWI when they never saw her driving?

  3. #3 |  Joe | 

    Here in PA the statute is a driving after imbibing statute – meaning if within two hours after driving you are over .08 BAC then you are guilty. So imagine the following:
    Person leaves bar – BAC was .05. Drives home no incidents. Parks car. Gets home and is in their living room sitting. An hour later the PO arrive – seems someone saw them driving erratically. Person consents to the seizure of his blood (implied consent – if he doesn’t consent he loses his license for one year) BAC now (1.5 hrs after driving) is .10 . Guilty of DUI.

    Dave K. is spot on for DUI prosecution.
    I will add the following:
    1. PA has no jury trial for first offense DUIs – b/c jail term is less than 6 months and is an ungraded misdemeanor. So you get to try your case before a judge – many of whom were former prosecutors.

    2. ARD program – great option for 1st time offenders as it allows for expungement of the offense if you complete 6mo – 1yr of supervision; but it hurts trumped up or borderline cases as the cost of fighting is far greater than securing an ARD.
    .

  4. #4 |  colson | 

    The ultimate hope is that these kinds of things wouldn’t happen. However, given the reality of the situation – what do you feel would be the best solution to ensure a defendant can seek redress for such prosecution and arrest?

    I would venture a guess in that the police and public defenders are well protected from being held accountable for their actions under most circumstances. Of course there’s the Duke case where the prosecutor was bounced from the bar. However, I tend to think the prosecutor in the Duke lacrosse case is emblematic of a systematic problem and not just an isolated case. I’d love to hear some others’ takes on what types of reforms or laws would be necessary.

  5. #5 |  Kukulkan | 

    Please replace “convicted” with “arrested” in the title.

  6. #6 |  Matt Moore | 

    I like the expert’s solution towards the end of the article. Fines and jailtime don’t work, he says, and that’s all well and good, but after three pages of stories about people arrested for DUIs they didn’t commit, what’s his solution?

    “If you’re arrested for a DUI, and a year later you end up getting a $1,000 fine and a weekend in jail, that’s a lot less effective of a deterrent than sitting at the roadside at 2 a.m., watching as they tow away your car.”

    Oh yeah, impounding the car and revoking the license of someone who’s only been accused of a crime. Just great.

  7. #7 |  Matt Moore | 

    (That quote doesn’t make it clear, but immediate license revocation is what he says will prevent DUIs.)

  8. #8 |  Jim Collins | 

    Joe,
    Have you heard the one about the guy in PA who drove home from an American Legion meeting, where he had 2 beers, ran a red light with a notoriously fast yellow and had a beer in his hand when the cops came knocking at his door? You got it. Busted for DUI. I live next door. I was at the meeting and rode home with him.

  9. #9 |  Ochressandro | 

    Joe: So, best to let that 12 pack age two hours in the fridge after you come home from the liquor store to drink safely in the confines of your own home, then?

  10. #10 |  Against Stupidity | 

    The only way to make these prosecutions stop, is to allow people who have had to defend frivolous charges, the chance to sue the District Attorney’s office for legal expenses plus a reasonable putative damage, 2 times expenses. If the DA’s office had to shell out this money from their budget a few times they might be a little more concerned with whether a law was actually broken before they proceed to trial. Let civil court determine if the person was damaged by a frivolous prosecution if the judges won’t do it.

    Don’t allow plea bargaining. If they can’t win in court they shouldn’t even be allowed to suggest what they might charge the defendant with.

    Don’t allow laws that assume guilt based on weak circumstantial evidence. If they don’t witness you driving drunk and can’t prove you were drunk while you were driving they don’t get to charge you with a crime. Also, some of these definitions of drunk are too arbitrary. What happened to the days when the jobs of the police and prosecutor were hard because they had to actually prove the defendant committed the crime not they might have committed a crime.

  11. #11 |  Against Stupidity | 

    One more thing, when police are suspected of “enhancing” their reports, investigate them and charge them with perjury.

  12. #12 |  Nando | 

    Joe,

    So, you’re saying that, in PA, you can have one sip of a beer, go home, drink a 12 pack, have an officer knock on your door, give you a BAC test, and arrest you for DWI?

  13. #13 |  Against Stupidity | 

    The concerned Business man should have been sued for slander. His false statements started her problems. He made patently false statements to a police officer that caused this woman to be arrested and charged with a crime she did not commit. The fact that he was too stupid to realize the mistake of his assumptions is no excuse.

  14. #14 |  ParatrooperJJ | 

    Um, let’s see, she mixed alcohol with hydrocodone and you have sympathy for her? Yes, she was overcharged but she was guilty of DWI.

  15. #15 |  Michael Pack | 

    Dangerous driving or a accident should be the only reason to charge someone.

  16. #16 |  anon | 

    dugg

  17. #17 |  Against Stupidity | 

    Absolutely correct Michael. The standard for DWI should be a demonstrable impairment of your ability to drive, not a detectable level of some drug in your system.

    The next step will be Driving While Physically Impaired. That way a cop will just have to state he felt you were too physically impaired to drive. No measurable test, just his expert opinion. No defense. Don’t drive if you have a cold!

  18. #18 |  Robert | 

    The next step will be Driving While Physically Impaired. That way a cop will just have to state he felt you were too physically impaired to drive. No measurable test, just his expert opinion. No defense. Don’t drive if you have a cold!

    What is this next idea you speak of. In some states DWI means driving while impaired. If you think for a second that there haven’t been plenty of people who have been tagged for “driving while impaired” because of a police officers “expert opinion”, you are sorely mistaken.

    This isn’t the future, it’s now.

  19. #19 |  F4GIB | 

    Previously posted: “public defenders are well protected from being held accountable for their actions under most circumstances.”

    Certainly true in Minnesota. Our Supreme Court held that is “against public policy” (meaning they just made up the reason) to allow suits against public defenders for malpractice. Your only remedy is the 1 in 1,000,000 reversal for “inadequacy” of counsel.

  20. #20 |  Fredex | 

    I blame MADD.

  21. #21 |  C | 

    I second Dave K., as the situation has actually happened to me. It’s hell when everybody you know assumes “well, you *must* have been driving drunk otherwise they wouldn’t have arrested you.” I was pulled over for a *burnt-out tail-light* and told right away that I was drunk (notwithstanding the fact I blew under the limit and did fine on the road-sides). In spite of the overwhelming lack of any criminal evidence, I had to go to trial. The reasoning of the prosecutor? “We want to give a rookie prosecutor some trial time”. The arrest report had the typical “slurred speech”, “bloodshot eyes”, “couldn’t stand up”. Thank God I had competent jurors who could see the police report didn’t match up with the breathalyzer.

    It wasn’t until I started directing friends and family to places like http://www.duiblog.com that they started to get a feel for what a bastardization of justice DUI pursuits have become.

  22. #22 |  Ronald Truman | 

    Hey, NANDO, it is NOT true that in California an officer must actually see you drive for you to be arrested or charged with DUI (although it is true for traffic infractions). It used to be the case, but case law long ago changed that. For example: if the CHP officer finds you passed out behind the wheel of your car, on the shoulder, engine warm, keys in the ignition (on or off), he will find probable cause to arrest you, there being sufficient evidence to believe you drove there (assuming evidence of intoxication, too). And you’d be charged. And you’d be convicted. If it’s not abused, which it sometimes is, it makes sense.

  23. #23 |  joel mackey | 

    in case you have not been updated, cops are running a racket. the clean ones are oblivious tools of a corrupt system, the dirty ones are metaphorically raping our society. Sorry to sound melodramatic, but its true, if you do not believe me, go drink a beer with a cop and listen to them.

  24. #24 |  Pink Pig | 

    The scariest part of this story is the idea that some jerk who sees you drinking water can sic the police on you for excessive drinking. I’m in favor of exiling jerks like this to Antarctica.

    It is only a matter of time before reasonable people rebel against these impositions.

  25. #25 |  Doug Collins | 

    But, if you actually stop wrongful prosecutions, what will many of the rural counties all over the country do for revenue?

  26. #26 |  Cris | 

    In later Bourbon France, the king would hire what were called ‘tax farmers’. They were assigned areas of the country and given the responsibility to collect the king’s due, a portion of which they kept for themselves. They attained these positions through bribes.
    The CHP is similar in that they seem to earn their pay by ticketing motorists for various violations. Having lived in California for 10 years, and observed how little real crime fighting the CHP does, calling them the state’s ‘tax farmers’ seems quite appropriate.

  27. #27 |  Mike | 

    It would be great if cops limited their arrests and perjury to drunken driving charges. Unfortunately, once they learn they can allege ANYTHING and get away with it, they use that power in all manner of charges, from DWI to murder.
    I have stopped feeling any sympathy for a cop killed in the line of duty.

  28. #28 |  Logan Bread | 

    One way cops cheat is to use sobriety tests that EVERYONE fails.

    http://fieldsobrietytest.info/raw.html

  29. #29 |  reprat | 

    From the minute a cop looks at you he thinks your guilty.

  30. #30 |  sanssoucy | 

    Lemme get this straight. The woman has dental surgery and gets shot up with Novocain, drives to a local restaurant with her child where she gulps half a mimosa and pops some hydrocodone, then she drives off shopping.

    *This* is your poster-bint for police and prosecutorial misconduct!?!

    Yeah. Whew. Exactly the person I want zooming down the road when I’m crossing the street. We can quibble about whether this woman deserves to be charged with DWI, but it’s fairly clear she deserved to have the book thrown at her for Utter Lack Of Common Sense.

  31. #31 |  Richard Dvorak | 

    Unfortunately, this is not unique. I am a civil rights lawyer, and represented a 50-something woman with scoliosis who was arrested on Super Bowl Sunday some years ago in a local Cook County suburb. The officers were on aggressive patrol, looking for DUI drivers. The two officers stopped my client, and eventually arrested her for DUI, even though she later blew a 0.0. This was not good enough for the officers. She was then taken to the hospital, under threat of suspension of her license for six months if she did not comply, forcibly drew blood and made her give a urine sample, and (of course) the blood test also confirmed no alcohol or no illegal drugs were in her system. They still charged her with DUI, and her name appeared in the local paper. During the arrest, she was alleged to have resisted arrest, and a local judge, after a bench trial (I was not the trial attorney), found her guilty of resisting arrest (but not battery). The prosecutors dismissed the DUI before trial. During the arrest, one of the male officers severely injured the woman in administering a take-down move he learned as a jail guard. We ended up suing, and settling the case. During my research on the case, I learned of a disturbing number of cases similar to my client’s case. The lesson: if police make an initial misstake, they should not compound it by taking illegal steps to then cover up the mistake. That is where they get in trouble. The public (and the law) can forgive an honest mistake. A cover-up will not be forgiven. Richard Dvorak, Dvorak, Toppel & Barrido, LLC.

  32. #32 |  tree hugging sister | 

    “…to drink safely in the confines of your own home…”

    Sadly, I don’t know that we have that home ‘safety’ net for ANYTHING anymore.

  33. #33 |  Michael Pack | 

    Let’s see.She had half a drink and a pain pill.Some see that as a reason to punish.The problem is she did nothing wrong behind the wheel and that should be the determining factor.I know after one or two beers I am still a better[and safer] driver than my 78 year old father.Thing is ,if he gets in a accident he’ll probably won’t be charged.Fact is the large majority of accidents are cause by sober drivers while a million and a half people are arrested each year for DUI.It seems the standard is so low anyone who drinks is guilty.

  34. #34 |  Bronwyn | 

    Hey, so long as she wasn’t curling her goddamn eyelashes like that bitch in front of me this morning, they’ve got nothing to charge her with! *grouse*

    I’d suggest she’d not used the best judgment, but she certainly didn’t do anything charge-worthy.

  35. #35 |  Dave Krueger | 

    The problem with pre-emptive laws is that they soon become an end in themselves. Instead of being used to make people safe, they have just become an administrative mechanism. You’re punished, not for putting someone at risk, but because you broke the rules, which in the eyes of bureacrats, is all that matters.

    In the end, they charge you for no other reason than because they can.

  36. #36 |  njartist | 

    Paranoid me sees these automatic convictions as a means of controlling the “bitter” people: if you’re supposedly a dangerous driver, then you’re too dangerous to have a gun.

  37. #37 |  Mark Buehner | 

    One solution is as logical as it is simple- the breathalyzer is used all over the country because the police and prosecutors hold it up as being so reliable. If you don’t blow over the limit, that should be viewed as evidence of sobriety. I know that’s a crazy thought, but amazingly cops don’t always see things that way. If you blow over the limit, game over man. If you blow under the limit and they want you bad enough… well heck these things can be quirky.

    Also keep in mind that the blood in your body has not been ruled protected by the 4th Amendment. A lot of people don’t know/believe that, but its true. The government does not need a warrant to draw blood from you. If an officer thinks they have probable cause, they can cuff you, take you to a hospital, strap you to a table, and have a doctor or nurse (theoretically anyone) put a needle in your arm without your consent and without any avenue of appeal for the suspect.

  38. #38 |  njartist | 

    And if I can think of it, so can a left-wing-nut: and make it sound reasonable.

  39. #39 |  ispdrudge | 

    I see today that a Chicago cop has been indicted for perjury on his dui arrests. Prosecutors are throwing out 500 cases; he had been commended for his large number of dui arrests. Unfortunately, two prosecutors observed an arrest where he falsely claimed he administered the sobriety tests.
    Seen in Chicago Sun-Times, cop is John Haleas, reporter Eric Herman, for those who want the details.

  40. #40 |  Joe Citizen | 

    The clear fact of the matter is this. The taffic division and or the Patrol is the revenue raising arm of the state or municipality. They are the cash cow of the law enforcement arm. The courts, the lawyers, the judges, the prosecutors and everyone else from the court clerk down to the city hall janitor relies on this cash flow. Do you really think that they willallow anyone to turn off this cash spigot without a fight? This is a systemic problem that we as citizens have allowed to flourish. Had the Duke lacrosse players not had the means to defend themselves ( i.e. money ), they would all be serving 25 years to life in some hell hole prison. These arresting officers in almost every case are little more than strong arm collectors who engage in legal extortion, and enjoy bullying the citizenry.

  41. #41 |  Joe | 

    2 comments
    1. Nando

    Yes. The PA DUI statute works the way I described it. They don’t have to actually catch you driving. They need to prove that your BAC is above .08 within two hours of driving – a big difference from the old law. Secondly, when the legislature changed the DUI law ( about 3-4 yrs ago) they removed the right of jury trial for first offenses. How? b/c the possible sentence for first offense DUIs (assuming no homicide) is less than six months, so the rt of jury trial is eliminated. So now on a first offense you face a judge instead of a jury. The end result of these changes – ie the two hour rule (over the limit within 2 hrs of driving) and the jury trial issue – have really cut down on the # of DUI trials. Most cases I take, I either win on motions (bad vehilce stop) or they plea (or take ARD- think probation for 6mos to 1 yr with an expunged record if you complete it)

    2. Mark
    A note about roadside breath tests – they aren’t admissible (in PA) except to prove the presence of alcohol. I agree that the regular Breath tests need to go. I have a real problem about the arresting officer conducting the breath test at the station and then calling it “objective” evidence.

  42. #42 |  Michael Pack | 

    Joe,I would like to know.How many of the people you represent have been in a accident or are truly driving in a dangerous and highly erratic manner?

  43. #43 |  Joe | 

    Very few. That also is a problem. Now the courts allow “reasonable suspicion” as a basis to pull someone over. Lesser standard than probable cause (needs actual violation of vehicle code) Many are “taillight cases”. Others are driving at 2am stops –

    Even the definition of accident is somewhat obscure. One car – “disabled” on the roadside may be charged as a tier two DUI (DUI has three in pa )

    Tier I – “Incapable of Safe Driving / General Impairment DUI” and .08 to <.10 BAC
    Tier II – Auto accident (including 1 car Accidents) and .10 to <.16
    Tier III .16< , refusal of blood test, and drug based DUI.

    Each tier increases the penalties. In addition, the # of prior offenses also increases your sentence.

    E.g.
    Person stopped. Has 2 prior offenses in the past ten years. (both low level duis Tier one) He refuses or has BAC above .16 and he now faces a mandatory 1 year in jail with a 5 year max – That is a state sentence.

  44. #44 |  Danno49 | 

    #33 – Michael Pack

    This quote from the article would seem to support what you say abouyt the majorioty of accidents being caused by sober drivers. At least in the state of Arizona.

    “ADOT statistics show that in 94.5 percent of all car accidents in Arizona in 2006 (the most recent year available), drivers involved had not a drop of alcohol in their systems. Six times as many accidents were caused by speed as by alcohol impairment.”

    Now I expected the majority of accidents to be caused by sober drivers but almost 95%? With the epidemic of DUI arrests across the country I would have thought it to be FAR lower.

    Seriously, if we have all these people truthfully wasted to the point where they are deemed not capable of operating a motor vehicle, wouldn’t that 94.5% stat be significantly higher?

  45. #45 |  Michael Pack | 

    So Joe,your saying you spend your time defending people who do no harm and are not likely going too.Plus your avenues of defense are being slowly taken away.This is a sad state of affairs.

  46. #46 |  Bryan C | 

    I’m amazed that the Arizona police can go to such lengths on just a citizen DUI complaint, without actually witnessing a problem. Here in Maryland the usual method seems to be for the dispatcher to radio a description of the vehicle to police in the area but always with a boilerplate “observe and take appropriate action”. In other words, if they see the driver doing something alarming they should stop it and investigate. Fairly often, an officer radios back that he has followed the possible offender and seen nothing unusual. That’s the end of it. Stopping cars for traffic violations based only on someone else’s say-so is obviously wide open for abuse.

  47. #47 |  Danno49 | 

    Bryan C . . .

    Maricopa County, where the city of Chandler is located, is the domain of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the self described toughest sheriff in America. His post is an elected one and they keep punching his number each time the buffoon is up for re-election. The majority of the populace goes along with his numerous transgressions against the Constitution by doing so. It is not surprising that this occurred in the atmosphere the way it is. It doesn’t make it right by any stretch but just by that, you can see how everything gets stretched to the point where neighbors are spying on and reporting each other.

    For the truth on Arpaio, go here:

    http://www.arpaio.com/

    Be prepared to be righteously angered.

  48. #48 |  John D | 

    “moderate” odor of alcohol on her breath” Actually the correct wording is the “odor of an alcoholic beverage.” Because alcohol has no odor/

    That’s the boilerplate that is demanded of police officers to prevent defense attorneys from throwing their cases out of court.

    I must work for the exceptional Sheriff’s Office because our Deputies would rather lose a case than railroad someone into a false conviction. I have worked there for 17 years as a dispatcher and have yet to see the Duii arrest that I would consider questionable. On the other hand, I have seen Deputies call relative s for people that they consider questionable but that they are unable to secure sufficient evidence that they are, in fact, intoxicated.

  49. #49 |  lunacy | 

    Surely this scenario in PA can’t be true.

    If I have a beer, drive home, and drink more beer…some one has seen me drive home, but no one knows for sure if I had a beer, and yet I can be arrested for having a beer.

    In that instance everyone who ever drove to the store to grab a six pack would could be suspected of driving drunk. Or at risk of being assumed to have driven while drinking.

    Surely this isn’t the case.

  50. #50 |  Danno49 | 

    lunacy – welcome to 1984

  51. #51 |  Jim Collins | 

    Lunacy,
    You are correct to a point. The 2 hour rule came into being because some people were getting off by claiming that by the time they were taken to a breathalyzer at a police station their alcohol level wasn’t the same as when they were driving. Pennsylvania then adopted the 2 hour rule which assumes that the alcohol level at the breathalyzer is the same as when they were driving. This law has had a couple of side effects.

    As I said before my friend cut a red light a little close after having 2 beers after a meeting. A local cop saw him do it and got his license number. By the time they ran the plate and got to his house it was about 1-1/2 hours later. He answerd the knock at the door with a beer in his hand. They took him to the station and gave him a brethalyzer, where he blew .09 and then charged him with DUI. This was later reduced to just running the red light when 15 people myself included showed up at his hearing. They didn’t want the hassle of all of us testifying so they dropped the DUI and jacked up the fine on the red light charge.

    Another side effect of this law is that some police checkpoints are holding people for up to 2 hours on the suspicion that their alcohol level might go up. I was stopped at a checkpoint and blew a .01. I then got to spend 2 hours sitting in the back of a police car, handcuffed of course, and was retested 6 times. I was released with a written warning after 2 hours and the third 0.0. When I got home at about 7 AM the local TV news had their DUI checkpoint box scores listed and I got to see myself sitting in the police car. Their total score was 1 DUI, 2 outstanding warrants (both non payment of child support) and 1 DUI warning (me).

    Radley, when you get done in Mississippi you really need to take a look at the relationship between the NHSTA and MADD. It will blow your mind.

  52. #52 |  The International House of Bacon » Blog Archive » Links for Thursday | 

    [...] * Why should I trust law enforcement again? [...]

  53. #53 |  Michael Pack | 

    Jim,I was reading a DA comment site about breath tests.They all talked how it was important to get it for a conviction.One said that with out a BAC most DUIs could not be proven.He went on to say very few people show erratic or dangerous driving like the public believes.With out BAC there is little or no prof of impairment.What does that tell you?

  54. #54 |  Jim Collins | 

    It’s all about the money Michael. It’s all about the money.

  55. #55 |  sfcmac | 

    Danno49:

    Sherrif Arpaio has criminals in his facility who are far worse than DUI offenders (whether actual or framed by the cops). His standard response to their complaints:
    Don’t like my jail? Don’t come back.” That’s good advise that most of the scumbags tend to ignore.

  56. #56 |  donovan | 

    I got a dui at home. My car in a different city stuck in mud. Cops come to my house enter illegally through our attached garage and through our back door. Without my permission. See that I’ve been drinking consequently arrest me and charge me with dui. I tried calling 911 and doing so they charged me with resisting arrest simply walked away to the phone in my house is resisting! Anybody know of a good aggresive lawyer? I think my civil rights have been violated. Oh yeah they towed and impounded my car without ever knowing that my girlfriend was the one driving! Consequently my impound fee of 500.00 was returned but the towing cost of 385.00 was only partially covered through my tow coverage. Because my girlfriend called for a tow and our service was prevented from performing their duty because of the police stating “go away we got this one!”

  57. #57 |  Bryan | 

    A few things that were not in the story others might find interesting.

    1. The “witness” was propositioning Shannon. He was miffed when she told him to take a hike. He then followed her around the town after she left the cafe, stalking her. When she went into the mall, he called the police on her. He then LIED to the police and used them like a fine tuned fiddle to exact revenge.

    The police lied:

    1. Two officers claimed they smelled a “moderate oder of alcohol.” Well, .02 isn’t going to give off much of a smell, if any at all. (by the way, .02 is not 1 drink, it’s equiv. to 1/2 a can of LITE beer)

    2. Another officer climed she took more than 1 hydrocodone pill. She didn’t, the blood test proved it.

    3. Another officer tested her for drugs, claiming he was qualified to do so. In fact, his certification ran out in 2001!!!

    4. The Chandler PD Spokesman, David Ramer, continues to say “she was impaired.” Heck, he wasn’t even there and his officiers never witnessed her driving nor were they qualified to make a determination! He’s just trying to cover up the sloppy police department’s behavior. This is the same spokesperson that tried to tell the city that his officers were justified in shooting a 14 year old holding a pearing knife to death.

  58. #58 |  April 17 roundup | 

    [...] anesthesia, plus a half a glass to drink: then came the three felony DUI counts [Phoenix New Times, Balko via [...]

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