DWI Arrest at 0.0

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

Woman was a designated driver. Didn’t have a drop to drink all night. She refused a roadside sobriety test because . . . well, because they’re utter bullshit (and unlike a blood or breath test, you’re allowed to refuse the roadside test). I’m sure it’s pure coincidence that her husband, who was in the car, is a DWI defense attorney, and had just beaten the cop in question in court.

In any case, after her arrest and incarceration, prosecutors were forced to quietly drop the charges when her blood test came back 0.0. Now, ask yourself how the officer writes the following about a stone sober woman:

It’s interesting to read the affidavit that Officer Gonzalez wrote that night about Heather Squires, intending to ask the Motor Vehicles Division of ADOT to yank her license. (He never mailed it — possibly because of the blood-test results.)

It describes “bloodshot and watery eyes.”

“Flushed face.”

“Strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from breath.”

The New Times writer adds:

Honestly, I don’t want to believe that Officer Gonzalez sought out the lawyer who beat him in court — and then penalized his wife when she’d done nothing wrong.

But a rogue cop is almost preferable to a system that’s stacked against motorists who want nothing more than to get home at night. Those people might not be as sober as Heather Squires proved to be, but after one or two drinks, I’m willing to bet that they don’t have bloodshot eyes or reek of booze. You’re still going to read that in the police report.

This isn’t the first time pre-written, xeroxed or boilerplate DWI reports have come up. Not the first time someone’s been arrested at 0.0, either.

The Mesa Police Department is standing behind the officer.

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93 Responses to “DWI Arrest at 0.0”

  1. #1 |  Jrob | 

    I’ve got a serious question.

    My union contract specifically mentions falsifying documents as a dischargable offense (used to prevent changing “sale by xx/xx/xxxx” dates, but not limited to that obviously). And since this asshat wrote a false document TO BE USED IN COURT, why would any city want to keep such a person employed? Wouldn’t the lack of prevention expose them to a huge, possibly class action, lawsuit?

  2. #2 |  Michael Chaney | 

    The real question is why the officer isn’t being charged for filing an obviously false report. Is that not a felony?

  3. #3 |  Marty | 

    the end really does justify the means to these people. wow.

  4. #4 |  Nick T | 

    That article became doubly more frustrating when I read the last sentence. (sigh)

  5. #5 |  Highway | 

    I think the New Times writer is coming to the realization (or may be there and is working it in to their writing slowly) that ‘rogue cops’ aren’t the problem when the Blue Wall of Silence encircles any cop, no matter what they do, or who they do it to, whenever an officer screws up.

    I am rapidly losing all faith in *all* government services, because if the people and organizations that citizens have to go to for protection from corrupt people are full of corrupt people themselves, as we keep seeing, then there really is no hope.

  6. #6 |  Patrick | 

    Hmmm, attorney and wife, with nothing better to do, set the stage by spilling a little booze on the wife, and acting out other objective symptoms. They drive around at night w/out headlights waiting to get pulled over. When they are, refuse to cooperate, and end up arrested. I suspect this is a publicity stunt by the lawyers, but then I’m cynical.

  7. #7 |  Nando | 

    I was once pulled over as a designated driver (with 4 drunk bastards in the car) and the cop OBVIOUSLY smelled alcohol so he “ordered” me to take a field sobriety test. In California, where the events took place, it’s perfectly legal to refuse a field sobriety test in leu of a breathalizer test, which is what I did. The cop got all mad and had to call his supervisor to come out because he wasn’t carrying one in his vehicle. So, all in all, I had to wait 40 minutes for the cops to administer a BAC test, which came back 0.0. The cop then wanted me to wait around 30 minutes in case it went up! I talked to his supervisor who then told me to just keep on my merry way.

    My mom was pulled over about 20 years ago on suspicion of drunk driving (in Las Vegas). When she refused the field sobriety test in leu of a breathalizer, the officer arrested her. My mom, who had had 3 glasses of wine with dinner (but says she wasn’t drunk), then informed the officers who’d arrested her that she wasn’t going to take a breathalizer or blood test once they got to the station without her lawyer present. The lawyer showed up 12 hours later and they just let my mother go since, after so much time, she had obviously metabolized any alcohol that might’ve been in her system.

  8. #8 |  billhilly | 

    Hey Patrick, So what? The cop still wrote a false report and the department still “stands behind” him.

    How different is your scenario from cops driving around making buy busts?

  9. #9 |  jwh | 

    Hey Highwayman, you said, “I am rapidly losing all faith in *all* government services, because if the people and organizations that citizens have to go to for protection from corrupt people are full of corrupt people themselves, as we keep seeing, then there really is no hope.”

    ……but you still have faith in the media?!?

  10. #10 |  bob | 

    If the department stops “standing behind” these bad cops, I’m sure they’ll quickly find jobs down the road at sheriff Joe’s.

  11. #11 |  Gregory Peckory | 

    Its all in a days work. The power WE these morons sickens me.

  12. #12 |  Gregory Peckory | 

    The power WE give these morons.

  13. #13 |  Blagnet.net » Blog Archive » DWI arrest at BAC 0% | 

    […] Radley Balko blags about an Arizona designated driver who was arrested for DWI with a blood-alcohol … Balko and the newspaper columnist he cites both thought the arresting officer might have been getting back at the designated driver’s husband, a lawyer who defeated the officer in a DWI court case recently. Shockingly, the police department denies this. […]

  14. #14 |  Jeremy | 

    After reading Balko for so long, I’ve come to one conclusion:

    The only way to effectively assert your rights in an encounter with a law enforcement officer is to be willing to be arrested.

    Arrest is what they always hold over your head to get you to implicate yourself or surrender your rights. You have to be willing to endure the inconvenience of arrest if you have any hope of effectively asserting your rights. It’s the only hope you have of actually getting due process because, unfortunately, you’re being processed.

    Standing up to this kind of abuse is something we should prepare for, because it’s going to take each of us going out of our way.

  15. #15 |  Michael Pack | 

    Just what was she stopped for to begin with? The problem I have with DUI today is the fact they stop anyone,for any reason then yell drunk.I’ve read statements from D.A.’s and police that they must have breathe or blood test results because most ‘drunk drivers’ are not driving in a dangerous manner that would result in conviction. In other words,they have no idea if a crime has been comitted unless you provide the evidence. In any other instance they a looking for the perp,that’s why they ask for[or obtain a warrant] for DNA and finger prints.In DUI they are looking for a crime.That’s a standard not used for any other offense.Besides,reckless driving laws can handle this when a person is a danger on the road.

  16. #16 |  Bloody Condom Daily Links » Blog Archive » July 5, 2008 | 

    […] Again your rights are in danger […]

  17. #17 |  Todd | 

    How do you know the cop swore out a false report? Maybe she did have bloodshot eyes (not at all unlikely) a flushed look (again, not unlikely) and smelled of alcohol (she was with people who were drinking, after all).

  18. #18 |  FP | 

    From a “Chris” in the comments on that site:

    “We have the right to protect ourselves from self-incrimination, but why does that mean that you can’t help prove your innocence? All these people had to do was cooperate and they would have only lost about 15 minutes out of their lives.”

    Hehe.. oh how I used to be that naive. And I’ve never had any serious run ins with cops in my 30 years. Trying to help “prove your innocence” is often how they nail you when you say something confusing or easily twistable into admitting “guilt”.

  19. #19 |  Chris | 

    FP: I agree with your comment. After viewing this video I now see how it can be a dangerous (and stupid) thing to say anything to a police officer:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik

  20. #20 |  A Terrified Citizen | 

    A police office in Corvallis, Oregon – David Cox – was recently run out of town for committing the same type of persecution. He is now suspected of committing the same injustice in over 1000 DUII cases; this officer led the country in drunk driving convictions at one poine. The City is facing a multi-million dollar lawsuit because – in Oregon – the individual in question has virtually no chance of ever getting the arrest off of his record.

    http://media.barometer.orst.edu/media/storage/paper854/news/2007/11/16/News/Controversial.Corvallis.Police.Officer.Resigns-3107341.shtml
    http://blog.oregonlive.com/nwheadlines/2007/11/corvallis_cop_wrote_27_of_35_d.html
    http://www.gtconnect.com/articles/2008/04/04/news/community/3aaa01_mansuescorvallis.txt

    As a result, I have observed two significant results of this lawsuit: 1) many citizens like myself have lost faith in the police’s ability to meter out justice in the face of truth, and 2) the police appear to be retaliating – against the entire community – by reducing their patrols and slowing response times.

    Worse, I fear that Former Officer Cox has simply moved and – because of his relative experience and a lack alternative candidates – will get a similar job in another town, where he can terrorize a new population of citizens.

  21. #21 |  claude | 

    #17 thats a great video. I distribute that as a video CD or as a double bill will “busted – the citizens guide to surving police encounters” on a DVD. If u want to download the high quality version of the seminar u linked too, here it is:

    http://deimos.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/regent.edu.1531303458.01531303460

    Note: this link will start your ITunes program and display both parts of this video where u can download and keep them Its a legal free download.

  22. #22 |  John C. Jackson | 

    Police unions (and cities) stand behind officers who shoot to kill children because “you know, its dangerous out there” and cops cant really be expected to make intelligent decisions in a short amount of time,and FOP (specifically Jim Gilbert from Columbus,OH- known for Derick Foster case and literally looks like pig in uniform. Columbus police have recently shot a man in the back and shot a teenage girl, btw) has said on camera to be advised that “Columbus police will not hesitate to shoot anyone for any reason” because they can.

    So do you think anyone cares if they (police anywhere) falsify a couple documents? These are dangerous urban gangs engaging in domestic terrorism. Minor stuff like paperwork is not going to get in the way.

  23. #23 |  Tim | 

    I happen to live in Phoenix and have a friend who’s serving “house arrest” for a DUI.

    He was popped “doing 75 in a 45 zone” a mere 300 feet from the exit of his bar. His lawyer pointed this out as a physical impossibility in his vehicle given the steepness of the exit (push-the-radiator-through-the-hood-at-speed steep). The judge admitted that it would normally be a bad stop, but since they had the breath test he allowed it. The cop also had no training in pacing, so was only qualified to judge speed with a radar gun.

    He passed the field sobriety test, and blew a .10. He was arrested and was answering questions in the van (drivers license, license plate number, etc.) so clearly that the cop driving the van asked several times if he was actually drunk.

    At the station, the breathalizer machine refused to work consistently and was throwing errors indicating that the results would not be accurate. They did tests over the course of two hours to get two results that didn’t error out. The machine was sent in for repair the following day and returned with notes that the DSP was replaced due to inaccuracy problems and was noted that it probably hadn’t been accurate for days if not months.

    Medication he was on raises the body temperature and will throw off the breath results by .02 to 0.6 depending on individual chemistry of the person using it.

    The prosecuting attorney threw off any potential juror who had any background in electronics, engineering or had graduated college.

    The jury took 22 minutes to convict.

  24. #24 |  Les | 

    I suspect this is a publicity stunt by the lawyers, but then I’m cynical.

    When you “suspect” someone of wrongdoing without any evidence to support it, “cynical” is not the word for what you are.

    If you think it’s okay for people who have done nothing wrong to be detained and forced to give blood, “authoritarian” is the word for what you are.

  25. #25 |  supercat | 

    Two questions I’d think a defense attorney should ask:

    -1- What percentage of the people you’ve tested for DUI were in fact over 0.08?

    -2- What percentage of the people who were tested and found to be below 0.08 were not reported by you to have had blood-shot and watery eyes, flushed face, and a small of alcohol on their breath?

  26. #26 |  Jim Collins | 

    When you consider how our rights are consistantly violated in the name of DUI, who needs a rogue cop. The entire system is rogue. Illegal search and siezure, right against self incrimination and the right to counsel are just a few of the rights violated in the name of DUI. Read the rest of the website referred to in this post.

  27. #27 |  dust4ngel | 

    @Highway

    :: I am rapidly losing all faith in *all* government services

    fortunately, we can safely put our trust in private corporate services who are never flagrantly self-interested or corrupt :)

  28. #28 |  Woog | 

    “The only way to effectively assert your rights in an encounter with a law enforcement officer is to be willing to be arrested.”

    How does allowing yourself to be kidnapped and thrown in a cage help you assert your rights?

  29. #29 |  Matt Moore | 

    #27 – I think he meant that if you assert your rights, you will be arrested, so be prepared for that consequence.

  30. #30 |  Andrew | 

    #27 – I think he meant that if you assert your rights, you will be arrested, so be prepared for that consequence.

    There’s that, and there’s the fact that the only way unjust laws will ever change is if someone is arrested for it, is brought to trial, convicted, and appeals, and the appeals court rules the law unconstitutional (see John G. Lawrence (of Lawrence v. Texas fame)), among many others.

  31. #31 |  Andrew | 

    (adding to my above statement)

    Of course there’s the possibility that the people petition the legislature, who see the law is unjust and cha…er..heh….hahahahahahaaha. Sorry.

  32. #32 |  korblimee | 

    The Mesa Police Department is standing behind the officer.

    I would like to think that they are only standing behind him in order to be able to kick him up the backside and out the door, but we all know thats not the real reason (sigh)

  33. #33 |  bob | 

    Lawrence v. Texas… It was the first time in many decades that anyone was even charged with breaking that ancient law banning butt sex, much less convicted of it.

    But will the spark of common sense last? From the 2008 platform approved at the Texas republican convention:

    Texas Sodomy Statutes – We oppose the legalization of sodomy. We demand that Congress exercise its authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy.

    Congrats are due the knuckle dragging Texas “conservatives.” They’ve succeeded in shrinking the size of government to the point where it fits in your bedroom.

  34. #34 |  supercat | 

    Congrats are due the knuckle dragging Texas “conservatives.” They’ve succeeded in shrinking the size of government to the point where it fits in your bedroom.

    While it is generally bad form for the Supreme Court to offer a remedy other than what is sought, the proper outcome in Lawrence v. Texas, based on my understanding of the alleged facts, would have been for the case to be remanded to trial court. The trial court would have been instructed to determine whether the defendants had acted in a fashion that they expected, or reasonably should have expected, to draw attention to themselves.

    If someone is engaging in sodomy on their own property in such fashion that they may reasonably expect that nobody will observe them who does not wish to, that’s their own business. If, however, they are doing so in a manner that they should believe is likely to be viewed by non-consenting observers, however, the state has full authority to intervene. I have heard rumors that the burglary report that initiated the Lawrence v. Texas case was a set-up by the people involved, for the purpose of testing the statute. I have no idea whether the rumors are true, or whether any evidence exists to support them. If such evidence does exist, however, the state should have been allowed to present it. If a jury were to find that the defendants had deliberately arranged for their behavior to be observed by someone who did not wish to see them, it should then have convicted on that basis.

  35. #35 |  supercat | 

    I distribute that as a video CD or as a double bill will “busted – the citizens guide to surving police encounters” on a DVD.

    When the instructor says that talking to the cop will never help you avoid trouble, I find it hard to believe there aren’t at least some exceptions. Example: Joe Smith goes out to fetch the morning newspaper, but accidentally left the spring latch engaged. His window was open, so he tries to climb in but as he is doing so a cop notices him. Which would be a better way for Joe Smith to start the dialog:

    -1- “Excuse me officer, I live here and locked my keys inside. Would you like to see my driver’s license?”

    -2- “Excuse me officer, but I’d like to talk to my lawyer before I say anything.”

    It’s not clear exactly how nice the officer would be in the former situation–it would probably depend upon how quickly and easily he could confirm the Mr. Smith’s bonafides. I would think, though, that Mr. Smith would have at least some chance of avoiding the hassle of arrest and the expense of a lawyer, not to mention the risk of having a real burglar enter through the open window, by using dialog #1. Dialog #2 would guarantee a trip to jail.

    Also, in part #2 of the lesson, I was surprised that the cop said that he routinely erases interview tapes after the interviews are transcribed. I would think that a defense attorney should be allowed to use that to great advantage. If I were on a jury, I would look skeptically upon a transcript of an interview if I knew the police recorded it but destroyed the tape; I can’t see any basis for preventing a defense attorney from bringing up the fact.

  36. #36 |  Nick T | 

    supercat,

    You are just completely dead wrong on the law (actually in both of your comments). The law had nothing to do with whether or not someone sees you committing the act of sodomy. If youcommit sodomy out in the park on a Sunday afternoon, you’d be guilty of indecent exposure or something along those lines AND committing the act of sodomy. SO, you can not make up the law as you see fit, and the fact of whether they arranged to be found by the police has nothing to do with anything. Criminal law is supposed to be applied very specifically within the narrowest meaning of the words in the satute. So just because supercat thinks something seems fair doesn’t mean the cirminal law will be applied that way, we’ll all just wait until you become a judge (but seriously, don’t ever become a judge).

    The only question in the Lawrence case was whether the state could intervene upon private conduct in the bedroom of two consenting adults in this specific manner or if that violated the person’s substantive due process rights underthe 14th Amendment. That. Is. It.

    *Oh and your previous comment was wrong too because both of those questions would be deemed irrelevant.

  37. #37 |  bob | 

    The sheriff’s deputy that busted the butt sexing dudes was responding to a false report of a gun disturbance that was made by an estranged boyfriend of one of the pair.

    The notion that these guys wanted to be arrested and charged with sodomy to further “The Gay Agenda” is absurd, and much like that agenda itself–exists chiefly in the frightened, small minds of power crazed hypocrites.

    They remind me of the mindset that prohibited mixed race marriages because it was “against God’s Law.”

    A substantial portion of the Texas republican party doesn’t know the difference between a Church and a Courthouse.

  38. #38 |  supercat | 

    The only question in the Lawrence case was whether the state could intervene upon private conduct in the bedroom of two consenting adults in this specific manner or if that violated the person’s substantive due process rights underthe 14th Amendment. That. Is. It.

    If the behavior was private, and the individuals participating in it had reason to expect it to be so, then the police should not have interfered. If, for whatever reason, one of the individuals had reason to expect that his behavior would not be private, then it would no longer be “private” conduct; as such, the state would be within its authority to restrict it.

    From an immediate practical standpoint, remanding the case to trial court with instructions that the prosecution would have to show that the defendants could not have reasonably believed their actions to be private, would most likely have resulted in a dismissal of charges; even if one of the defendants had personally placed the call to report the “burglary” for which the police arrived, the tape may have been long gone by the time Lawrence v. Texas was decided.

    From a precedential standpoint, however, such a remand would have been much more reasonable than an outright acquittal; it would have made clear that one who deliberately forfeits any expectation of privacy can no longer claim any “right” to the privacy he deliberately forfeit.

  39. #39 |  bob | 

    {I have a more verbose comment that’s awaiting moderation, but here’s a preview:}

    supercat, the deputy that made the arrest was responding to a false report of a disturbance involving guns that was placed by an estranged boyfriend of one of the guys.

    Yours is the first mention I’ve heard of an open window. Maybe it’s part of the Evil Gay Agenda that James Dobson is convinced will destroy the world.

  40. #40 |  supercat | 

    *Oh and your previous comment was wrong too because both of those questions would be deemed irrelevant.

    The officer is claiming that the “symptoms” he reports constitute prima facie evidence of intoxication. In effect, the reporting or non-reporting of such symptoms constitutes a “test” of intoxication.

    Any time any sort of test is admitted in court, the other party has the right to seek or offer evidence related to the accuracy of the test. Imagine that you were a juror on two different drunk driving cases, and the arresting officers’ records were put before you.

    The first officer never reported all of the “symptoms” above in any case where a person’s BAC was below 0.07, and very seldom reported all of them below 0.09; at BAC level above 0.12, he would more often report all of the symptoms; above 0.15 he would do so consistently; above 0.20 he never failed to do so.

    The second officer always reported all the “symptoms”, even though half the motorists blew below 0.05 and some blew 0.0.

    As a juror, if you knew the above, would it influence your judgment of the officers’ credibility? I would judge the first officer as being much more credible than the second. If someone blew a 0.08 for the second officer, I would be inclined to acquit since, at best, he was so inept at judging intoxication that his judgment didn’t constitute probable cause of anything.

  41. #41 |  supercat | 

    Yours is the first mention I’ve heard of an open window.

    The “open window” was in a different post response to a linked video about why one should not talk to the police.

    Maybe it’s part of the Evil Gay Agenda that James Dobson is convinced will destroy the world.

    My main point was that even if it would be possible to enforce a law in such a fashion as to violate people’s right to privacy, that should not preclude enforcement of the law in cases where people have no reasonable expectation of privacy. The burden should be on the state to prove that the accused had no reasonable expectation of privacy, and it may well be that the state could not have done so. Nonetheless, I see no legitimate reason the state should not have been allowed to retry the case on that basis if it thought it could prove it.

    BTW, I also happen to believe that as a general principle statutes should only be enforceable in cases where either (1) the complained-of behavior is overt; or (2) some identifiable party was unjustly harmed or was unjustly exposed to risk (and such harm or risk was not accepted consensually); or (3) the behavior was performed with wanton disregard for, or malice against, any parties who might be unjustly harmed or exposed to risk.

    Individual statutes shouldn’t need to express such a requirement, IMHO, since it should be applicable to all statutes which do not explicitly exempt themselves from it.

    Incidentally, would you see a constitutional problem with legislation that would require that people engaging in sexual activity (any sort) in a residence or hotel room whose door would be used to receive visitors from a public sidewalk or common area should lock the door? Failure to do so shouldn’t be a felony, but I shouldn’t think there would be any constitutional problem with charging people for a civil infraction if someone stumbles upon them as a result of their negligence.

  42. #42 |  perlhaqr | 

    The Mesa Police Department is standing behind the officer.

    And in other news, both gravity and the speed of light remained constant. ;)

    Fucking fuck on buttered fucktoast. Police departments might have some credibility if they’d actually admit it when one of their officers does something egregiously boneheaded, like falsifying a police report and falsely arresting someone.

  43. #43 |  bob | 

    Incidentally, would you see a constitutional problem with legislation that would require that people engaging in sexual activity (any sort) in a residence or hotel room whose door would be used to receive visitors from a public sidewalk or common area should lock the door? Failure to do so shouldn’t be a felony, but I shouldn’t think there would be any constitutional problem with charging people for a civil infraction if someone stumbles upon them as a result of their negligence.

    Duh. YES!

    The question is almost too silly to respond to. If someone “stumbles” and as a result sees people gasp! having SEX the stumbling idiot has invaded their privacy and bears full responsibility for that act.

    At various points in our nation’s history there were no “constitutional problems” with:

    Owning other human beings
    Prohibiting all women from voting
    Prohibiting alcohol
    Prohibiting mixed race marriage.

    And currently, according knuckle dragging neo-cons and Bible thumping theocrats, there are no “constitutional problems” with prohibiting free association between and equal treatment of same sex couples.

  44. #44 |  supercat | 

    The question is almost too silly to respond to. If someone “stumbles” and as a result sees people gasp! having SEX the stumbling idiot has invaded their privacy and bears full responsibility for that act.

    Why would a prudent person not lock the door? Taking that simple step would avoid any embarrassments.

    Negligence is defined as doing something a prudent person would not have done, or fails to do something a prudent person would have done. One can be found negligent for allowing another person to do something they should not have been able to do, whether or not that other person had any legitimate reason to perform the action in question (e.g. one may be held liable if one acts negligently in such fashion as to allow the theft of property for which one has a duty of care; the real fault for the theft lies with the thief, of course, but the negligent person may still be held liable).

  45. #45 |  Nick T | 

    Holy christ supercat, where to effing begin.

    To your first comment, what you are talking about is a subjective test to enforcing your substantive due process rights. Subjective test means that the perosn in question must have had the actual belief of whateer he is trying to assert. This applies in cases where the 4th Amendment is involved. That is to say that a perosn saying, for example, the trunk of his SUV was searched must prove, among other things, that he actually believed that space would be private. In the Lawrence case, no such test was required. Even if those people believed they were going to be intruded upon, the court only examined whether they were in an inherently privte space when they committed the acts in question. Your getting way too caught up in this idea which had no legal significance. The law punished (as others have artfully put it) butt sex, no matter where you did it or who saw. What you’re doing is entirely inventing the law out of thin air based on what you feel is fair. You may have a swell sense of fairness, but the law does not care, and it will continue to never listen to anything you say.

    As for your second post, again you are wrong. I’m a trial lawyer, my strong suit is evidence, I work with criminal defense attorneys. Both of your questions are inadmissible as irrelevant, barring some sort of exceptional circusmtance which you have not alluded to. In general you can not discuss past incidents in a criminal cases. The only relevant information is what happened in this particular case on the occurrence in question. E.g. you can not use evidence of previous bank robbery convictions to prove the accused rob *this* bank. (Even though (takes quick breath in shock) it might influence the jury’s decision.) There are narrow exceptions to this rule which I will discuss.

    Your first question was how often the officer *administers the test. Simply administering the test is not a prima fascie case of anything and officers likely do it even when they have serious doubts as to the drunkenness of the driver. So the question either provides no information that helps the jury (the definition of irrelevant) or it confuses the jury into thinking that the decision to administer the test *is* evidence of something which is thus confusing to the jury (and is therefore extr-irrelevant).

    Your second question is irrelevant because on a technical note, asking for a percentage as a way to show bad judgment or dishonesty will never ever come in. But also it presupposes that the officer filled out the other reports with similar language dishonestly. What the officer said in previous reports is presumptively irrelevant because those are, ya know, *other cases*, but if you could show the officer had been dishonest (dishonesty is always relevant when it is that of the testifying witness) in those reports it would be. But the officer might have honestly noticed those symptoms and the people might have been under .08. As for bad judgment, that is much tougher to make relevant and in this case, simply because the officer had been mistaken in a previous case about a person being drunk has nothing to do with this case under the law.

    Your test of whether I was on the jury and it would influence my decision is not the test for relevance as the rules in court often guard against having the jury influenced by improper things. Again you are inventing the law out of thin air.

  46. #46 |  Nick T | 

    “but the negligent person may still be held”

    Very good supercat. Too bad this is nearly *never ever true* in criminal law. Now, were our friends in Lawrence sued in civil court or charged with a crime?

  47. #47 |  supercat | 

    //Very good supercat. Too bad this is nearly *never ever true* in criminal law. Now, were our friends in Lawrence sued in civil court or charged with a crime?//

    For them to be charged with a crime beyond a civil infraction, it should have been necessary for the state to demonstrate that their action rose to the level of ‘wanton disregard’ or worse. I doubt that it did, but if the state thought it had the evidence to prove that, it should have been allowed the opportunity.

    Negligence is frequently sufficient basis for charging someone with a civil infraction, and I’ve never heard anyone argue that it shouldn’t be. Indeed, being charged with a civil infraction often does not even require any particular wrongdoing other than bad luck (e.g. if your car breaks down and you fail to move it to someplace that parking is permitted, you may receive a parking ticket even if the breakdown was not foreseeable and there was no way you could have moved the car legally).

  48. #48 |  supercat | 

    //But also it presupposes that the officer filled out the other reports with similar language dishonestly.//

    Where did I say the officer was dishonest? The officer may well believe he observes those symptoms in all the people he pulls over. On the other hand, if the percentage of people in which he reports symptoms is substantially greater than the percentage who are actually intoxicated, that would imply that, for whatever reason, his judgments of intoxication are not credible.

    I suspect that the real reason many courts would reject this line of questioning is that they don’t like what it would reveal: that juries should completely disregard any boilerplate descriptions of suspect symptoms because they have little correlation with actual suspect behavior.

  49. #49 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Seems appropriate to invoke my equivalence again:

    cops ≡ criminals

  50. #50 |  Police Attack Wyoming Family Gathering « noworldsystem.com | 

    […] Knife Crimes Used As Excuse To Search http://rss.xinhuanet.com/newsc/english/2008-07/05/content_8495316.htm Driver arrested for Drunk Driving at 0.0http://www.theagitator.com/2008/07/05/dwi-arrest-at-00/ […]

  51. #51 |  Nick T | 

    “Where did I say the officer was dishonest?”

    Supercat, if the officer was NOT dishonest then his previous reports are irrelevant. As I stated, you can always bring out past examples of where the witness on the stand was dishonest because truthfulness is always an issue. So if you’re not saying that, then it’s not going to be relevant. (Also you can’t just raise past examples of probable dishonesty, you have to show actual dishonesty in your past examples.)

    Also, as I stated, you can not get into past examples of bad judgment unless you have an expert witness on the stand (now please please don’t go off arguing that the cop is sort of an expert blah blah, he’s not. Don’t do it.) for example, let’s say you had one of those cases where DNA exponerates a man who had been IDed by a victim as a rapist. If that same victim now years later is involved in some new criminal trial and gives an ID, you can’t birng up evidence of the past time they were incorrect when IDing somebody. The law doesn’t like it when you try to use past incidences to prove that the same must have happened this time. It’s unfair and not particularly logical (in the law’s view). Tendency for truthfulness being the one general exception that almost always works, because otherwise how else do you prove truthfulness, i suppose. Judgment is very difficult, again, unless you have an expert and the quality and accuracy of their opinion in central to their testimony.

    Seriously, homes, you just get wronger and wronger as you discuss the law more and more. Stick to the reggae.

    Oh, and as for your while-back comment about remanding the Lawrence case to the trial court: ummm, the Supreme Court *struck down* that law. It was not so much an aquital as it was an outright invalidation of the law under which they were convicted as unconsitutional. Not unconst. as applied, but unconst. on its face. Sorry I missed it before, but your suggestion of remand might have been your most inaccurate and absurd thought in this whole thread, and that is saying a lot.

  52. #52 |  bullfighter | 

    I was once arrested with 0.00 percent alcohol and kept in jail all night, for more than 5 hours after the breathalyzer showed my innocence. The lesson I learned was that one should never cooperate with the police in anything that resembles “field sobriety tests”. Those are nothing but scams designed to cover the ass of the officer who only cares about fulfilling the monthly arrest quota.

  53. #53 |  supercat | 

    Supercat, if the officer was NOT dishonest then his previous reports are irrelevant. As I stated, you can always bring out past examples of where the witness on the stand was dishonest because truthfulness is always an issue. So if you’re not saying that, then it’s not going to be relevant.

    There is a difference between being dishonest and untruthful. It’s possible for a cop (or any witness) to make statements that are honest but mistaken. If someone frequently makes such statements, the person should be discredited as a witness; even if the witness is of impeccable character, that doesn’t mean they have the skills to make reliable observations.

    Still, if you don’t like that line of questioning, how about this one (assuming one has already done a public records search to get examples of the officer putting the same boilerplate text on people who blew 0.0 or close to it): Your report notes that you observed [name symptom]. How intoxicated would someone have to be for you to report that? In your experience, does that symptom always indicate drunkenness? If the cop is honest, he will have to qualify his statements to an extent that may cause the jury to discount them. If he states that a particular symptom, in his experience, always indicates drunkenness, when he himself has recorded personal observations to the contrary, that’s clear perjury and the evidence of his other statements should become admissible in rebuttal.

    If that same victim now years later is involved in some new criminal trial and gives an ID, you can’t birng up evidence of the past time they were incorrect when IDing somebody.

    Why not? A jury shouldn’t totally discount the testimony of a witness who was wrong once before, but should probably downgrade it some. If the witness can be shown to have been wrong repeatedly, a jury should not only disregard the witness, but also consider whether the witness may have influenced other witnesses (e.g. if the primary evidence against the defendant is the testimony of two sisters, and one of them has been shown to have been wrong many times in the past, it would be fair to shade the testimony of both witnesses).

    I know that it’s often not possible to let juries know of problems with witness’ historical accuracy. To me, that’s a symptom of a government that is more interested in convictions than justice. I find it hard to imagine a situation where it would be just for a jury to convict someone whom they would have acquitted if they’d known some factual information that was kept from them.

  54. #54 |  supercat | 

    Oh, and as for your while-back comment about remanding the Lawrence case to the trial court: ummm, the Supreme Court *struck down* that law. It was not so much an aquital as it was an outright invalidation of the law under which they were convicted as unconsitutional. Not unconst. as applied, but unconst. on its face. Sorry I missed it before, but your suggestion of remand might have been your most inaccurate and absurd thought in this whole thread, and that is saying a lot.

    Explain to me why a state statute forbidding male-to-male anal sex is less constitutional on its face than one forbidding pot smoking? Comparing the number of people who have died because of each activity reveals that the former is far more dangerous. Further, male-male anal sex is far more dangerous than male-female, since a man who is infected by another man is likely to retransmit the disease far more effectively than a woman who is likewise infected.

    I could see a constitutional basis for limiting the application of the state statute. I can see no legitimate basis for striking it altogether. If a couple of women had been prosecuted, I could see them arguing that from a rational-basis perspective the statute should only apply to male anal sodomy. I don’t see how the defendants would have standing to challenge it on that basis, however.

  55. #55 |  The Volokh Conspiracy | 

    Arrested for DWI without Drinking:…

    Radley Balko reports on a woman who was arrested for DWI after refusing a roadside sobriety test even though she had not one drop to drink. Her blood test cam……

  56. #56 |  Nick T | 

    “If that same victim now years later is involved in some new criminal trial and gives an ID, you can’t birng up evidence of the past time they were incorrect when IDing somebody.

    Why not?”

    Ok, supercat, one more time, because you are apparently in a seat so cheap, you’re not even in the same frickin’ stadium. The reason you can’t do this is because THAT’S WHAT THE RULES OF EVIDENCE SAY. Got it? It’s not what yours or my dictates of common sense or logic say, it is based on the rules that actually apply in court. I will not discuss this any further becaue we are apparently having two different discussions: one within the parameters of your brain’s sense of fairness and one with the parameters of like the real actual law. We can recommence when you enter the latter.

    As for your second comment, first HOLY SHNIKES!! Second, umm, the Constitutionality of a statute is not necessarily (and hardly ever when it is harm to one’s self) based on the harmfulness of the conduct it proscribes. In this case, it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH the dangers of anal sex, but relied more centrally on a person’s liberty interest in being able to freely have sex with whomever they choose in whatever manner they choose. That right, while not absolute, is very significant and has been deemed to be part of your basic liberty interests (the Lawrence decision actually relied on a decision striking down a CT law that banned condoms). The right to smoke pot, or to put whatever you want in your body, is, sadly, not at the same level.

    Your last paragraph is just too absurd to even respond too at length. Your analysis is weighed down so heavily by the practical implications of everything. In short, the SC said the government can not invade the privacy of your bedroom without an incredibly good reason which it found to be lakcing in this particular statute – regardless of gender.

    You’d do better to apply actual legal principles and concepts when discussing the law, rather than flying solely, and thus aimlesly and wrongly, by the seat of your own subjective feelings. Or you could just acknowledge that you are ignorant as to such things.

  57. #57 |  supercat | 

    The reason you can’t do this is because THAT’S WHAT THE RULES OF EVIDENCE SAY.

    You stated that questioning to suggest that a witness was unreliable in past cases would provide no help to the jury. I would argue that–to the contrary–knowing that a witness has proved unreliable in the past would be of great help to a jury reaching a just verdict. That’s probably why such evidence is inadmissible. Cops who got a record as being unreliable witnesses would become useless. Notwithstanding the fact that such cops are in fact worse than useless for maintaining a lawful society, the government and police unions would not want to jeopardize their employment.

    BTW, states have started to forbid letting the jury know the sentence involved with any crime they’re judging. Such information is relevant, even from a purely factual standpoint (the more serious the charge, the stronger the mens rea a jury should require) but states started withholding it when juries proved unwilling to send people away for many years for what the juries would consider minor offenses. Again, information dismissed as “irrelevant” precisely because it wasn’t.

    …but relied more centrally on a person’s liberty interest in being able to freely have sex with whomever they choose in whatever manner they choose.

    Said sexual liberty interest having been apparently invented long after the Constitution was written, and not codified anywhere therein. I see no evidence the Founders knew anything of it, since colonies enforced laws related to sexual behavior before they ratified the Constitution, and continued to enforce those laws afterward.

    I do not mean to imply that states should enforce laws related to sexual behavior, but I see nothing in the Constitution that would forbid them from doing so. Certainly nothing that would grant a vague ninth-amendment ‘right’ a stronger level of ‘incorporation’ than other rights which are explicitly acknowledged in the Bill of Rights and yet routinely abridged by states.

    I know the Supreme Court loves to build mountains of strange and bizarre precedent. I also know that while there are men with guns who are more than willing to force people to do what the Supreme Court says, any decision which would be unsupportable without regard to precedent is inconsistent with the Supremacy Clause in Article V. While I acknowledge precedent as a useful means for promoting consistency and minimizing redundancy, past court decisions are listed as a source of authority in Article V.

  58. #58 |  TexasDude | 

    I am sure it has been mentioned above, but you can be intoxicated on things other than alcohol.

  59. #59 |  Alan Supulvida | 

    http://fieldsobrietytest.info/raw.html#graph

    In the government’s own SFST validation study, “Seven highly experienced alcohol enforcement officers, personally trained by Dr. Burns, patrolled a major US city for more than five months, stopping and assessing hundreds of motorists with SFSTs. And in all those months, in all those hundreds of tests, only one officer ever completed a single SFST that came back “non-impaired” at the 0.04% BAC level. NHTSA science proves that for six of seven highly experienced DUI patrol officers, every single driver who is able to take the SFST fails the SFST.

    At BAC 0.04% six of seven officers failed every driver who could take the test. Their accuracy on innocent drivers was zero percent. Zero percent! “

  60. #60 |  Edintally | 

    You hear stories. But you never think they are out there until they open their mouths.

  61. #61 |  punditius | 

    My brother was stopped for driving too slowly. At first, the cop thought he was drunk, because he was acting drunk. Slurred speech, etc. But then the cop figured out that he wasn’t drunk, but ill. Took him to the emergency room instead of the drunk tank. My brother was suffering from an ammonia buildup in his GI tract. He could have gone into a coma if the cop had made the wrong call. But he didn’t.

  62. #62 |  Jim T. | 

    I know of police who have willing lied when writing tickets. I was in a car pulled over for going too fast in a school zone when everyone in the car could testify that the car had slowed by then. The cop stood by this in court, despite the witnesses, until all the lawyers went to work and magically it wasn’t speeding.

    The cop should be:
    1. Fired
    2. Forfeit all benefits [Retirement, etc.]
    3. Be charged and prosecuted with perjury and intentonally lying on a police report.

    If these people realize their lives will be destroyed because they abuse their power, maybe people will trust the police more.

    P.S. I saw the same policeman drinking at a bar all night and then get in his car and drive home. I am sure his buddies made sure nothing would happen to him.

  63. #63 |  LeatherPenguin » A Big ASS with a Badge | 

    […] The Agitator » DWI Arrest at 0.0 I’m sure it’s pure coincidence that her husband, who was in the car, is a DWI defense attorney, and had just beaten the cop in question in court. […]

  64. #64 |  Johnny Juror | 

    There’s no need for jury nullification when a juror can now reasonably assume cops are lying anyway and treat their testimony as the equivalent of a crackhead’s. And don’t blame the jurors Johnny Law, you and your bretheren did this to yourselves. BTW, those cops shows don’t make you look as good as you think they do.

  65. #65 |  ZEITGEIST | 

    […] ARRESTED FOR DWI without drinking. […]

  66. #66 |  Gerry | 

    “Hmmm, attorney and wife, with nothing better to do, set the stage by spilling a little booze on the wife, and acting out other objective symptoms. They drive around at night w/out headlights waiting to get pulled over. When they are, refuse to cooperate, and end up arrested. I suspect this is a publicity stunt by the lawyers, but then I’m cynical.”

    I would say you are the opposite of cynical.

    Even if one were to stipulate to all you hypothesize, the police report is still obviously bullspit. He didn’t say he smelled alcohol on her, which could come from a drink splashed on her. He said he smelled an odor, a strong odor, of alcohol coming from her breath. I doubt that even gargling with liquor, excepting perhaps in the moment that the police lights went on, would accomplish that; certainly a drink splashed on would not.

    Further, having a drink splashed on and having one acting out other subjective symptoms would not cause one’s eyes to be bloodshot. Yet that was in the police report as well.

    It is good for a person to be cynical. Hopefully you will develop the cynicism that you feel you already have; it will serve you better.

  67. #67 |  Blood Alcohol BS « Blog Entry « Dr. Melissa Clouthier | 

    […] a woman is stopped, harassed by a vindictive cop, and gets thrown in the poky. Her blood alcohol? […]

  68. #68 |  Gerry | 

    “Maybe she did have bloodshot eyes (not at all unlikely) a flushed look (again, not unlikely) and smelled of alcohol (she was with people who were drinking, after all).”

    Maybe she did have bloodshot eyes. Maybe she had a flushed look. Both are plausible, and considerably more plausible to have just been a coincidence than what Patrick hypothesized.

    But hanging out with people who were drinking will not cause one to have a “Strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from breath.” Not just a slight odor, but a strong odor, specifically emitting from the breath.

    There is no way that could be true with her blowing a 0.0. It was either a deliberate lie, or the cop was being grossly careless but willing to testify as if he was being extremely careful and diligent.

  69. #69 |  Kelly | 

    Patrick, Patrick, Patrick. If the woman was driving around with no lights, the cop should have ticketed her for that, not arrested her for drunk driving. Grow a brain.

  70. #70 |  Buster | 

    I worked for a small newspaper in a southern town for many years and covered courts and police extensively. It was a common practice for some of the younger officers to have “contests” to see who could make the most DUI arrests.

    The incident reports all read like they were written by the same person, with bogus reasons for stops, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, STRONG smell of alcohol, unsteadiness. If a whiff of alcohol was available nobody ever passed the field tests. And, many times, I have heard officers getting their stories “straight” before testifying and then lying under oath.

    It’s a shame, but I have no clue what we can do about it, other than file suit when there’s a good reason. But that seldom works around here. Protect and serve? My ass.

  71. #71 |  Bill | 

    I work for NY state in the prison system, not as a guard.

    Any government bureacracy consists of liars at the top. Lying is how you get tt the top. There re no absolute standards to judge someone by when there is no product produced, and no profit to be made.

    In a profit making organization, there are absolute standards. How many widgets per hour How many dollars per hour in sales. Cost of production, etc.

    For a prosecutor, how many convictions. But what if no one is committing crimes? Invent some- that’s the solution. If crime goes down, the police should make fewer arrests. But then, how do you evaluate them? Any system like that is ripe for abuse.

    That and once the policeman is not a neighborhood resident but someone from afar, he forgets he is a public servant and not a public master.

  72. #72 |  MikeC | 

    You do realize that a person can be arrested for a DWI when they are using drugs right? It’s called Driving Under the Influence, not Intoxicated. And your refusal to take a field sobriety test automatically ensures your going to jail right? Just because you refuse doesn’t mean the cop goes, “Oh well gee, well i better let you go then.”

    Your all bagging on the officer who in all likely hood made the correct decision, because you dont have a clue about how law enforcement works.

    Look you drive around without your headlights on your going to get stopped and if you refuse to co-operate your going to jail. The officer did nothing wrong. Thats why the Mesa Police Department is standing behind him. And she should of known better with her husband being a DUI lawyer. She just thought she was above the law.

  73. #73 |  Nick T | 

    “You do realize that a person can be arrested for a DWI when they are using drugs right?”

    Yes, we know that MikeC. What drug is that that creates a strog odor of alcohol on your breath? Prescription pain-killers? Weed? While yes, it is possible this woman was under the influence of SOME drug, it’s a far greater possibility (indeed a reasonable certainty) that the officer lied in his report so that his arrest could stick. Likely what that indicates is that the person was not showing signs up being loopy on percosets or high on smack, but they were showing signs of solid sobriety so the officer had to fabricate something.

    Your post seemed to conveniently ignore the overwhelming evidence that this officer lied, while speculating (or even concluding) without any evidence at all that this person may still have been impaired and what her attitude was. So, do you not thinkg the officer lied about signs of ALCOHOL use? If you’re not willing to conclude an outright lie, do you at least find that highly suspect? Is it appropriate for an officer to lie in a police report? Is it more appropriate when the encounteredt citizen has an attitude of “I am above the law?” It will be interesting to see if you answer any of these questions.

  74. #74 |  Edintally | 

    MikeC

    “because you dont have a clue about how law enforcement works.”

    The problem isn’t that we don’t know how law enforcement works.

    The problem is that we DO KNOW how it works.

    The fact that you don’t see the inherent problems associated with institutions, especially institutions with power over our daily lives, speaks volumes about your choice to remain ignorant even when the facts are clearly pointed out to you.

    Law enforcement, as an institution, resists change unless that change benefits themselves, usually in the form of more power. Even if individual officers understand and desire the kind of change or reform the public at large wants, as individuals they are still at the mercy of the institution. Police understand this and either decide to become institutionalized or they leave (burn out). Obviously, this helps to perpetuate the institution.

  75. #75 |  Steven Halperin | 

    This happened in Phoenix. Did anyone here note the officer’s name? It’s Gonzalez.

    Looks like Mexican police corruption is headed your way. Buckle up.

  76. #76 |  Steven Halperin | 

    DOn’t forget also that in many states (all?) you can be charged with DUI for just sitting in a parked car while being drunk, becase you’re considered to have “control of the vehicle.”

  77. #77 |  Flash Gordon | 

    The MADD mothers are an angry and bitter and politically powerful group of lobbyists. Some [not all or even a majority] of them have suffered the loss of a loved one by a drunk driver and that is a personal tragedy for them. But good public policy is not made by bitter and angry people.

    By tugging at the heart strings of the public and sabotaging the public’s ability to think clearly about drunk driving laws we have a system that no longer has much of anything to do with making the highways safer and mostly to do with just getting as many convictions as possible. The police officer who will get the most public praise and enjoy the most job security will be the one with the most DUI arrests.

    In one locality that I am familiar with almost all the DUI police reports stated that the officer’s first clue that he might be dealing with a drunk driver was that he noticed the driver used the driver door for balance and support as he exited the vehicle. In any case that went to trial the officer would testify to that.

    So the local DUI Bar set up a video camera to take videos of police officers exiting their patrol cars in the police station parking lot. Every one of them was caught on video using their driver side door for balance and support while exiting the vehicle. The video tape was given to the local TV stations. Since then the police reports do not mention leaning on the door, and it has not come up in any cases that went to court.

  78. #78 |  Flash Gordon | 

    As evidence that DUI laws are not about making the roads safe but getting convictions, did you know that in most states the law refers to operation of a “vehicle” while drunk, and that bicycles are included in the definition of vehicle. You can get a DUI, with all the same consequences, for riding a bicycle with a BAC over the limit.

    There are man collateral consequences to a DUI that go beyond the court sentence, fines, loss of drivers’ license, shy-high insurance rates for several years. For example, one DUI bars you from entering Canada for 5 years, a second one bars you for life. One DUI results in the loss of a commercial drivers’ license for 1 year, a second DUI costs you your CDI for life. This is in all states by the way because it is federal law.

    A DUI also has consequences for professional licenses of lawyers, doctors, engineers, architects, etc.

    There are many more and the injustice of it is that a DUI does make you an alcoholic or even a dangerous driver because the BAC level that will get you in trouble, .08, is a political and not a scientific standard. The drivers that are actually dangerous and cause accidents invariably have BAC levels of .15 and above.

    But no one cares. This is not about logic, justice or safety. It is about politics and allowing a bunch of MADD women work out their anger and hatred.

  79. #79 |  Dylboz | 

    Cops lie. Field sobriety tests are designed to be failed, even sober people, cops even, can;t pass them, they are a farce invented to create evidence of impairment where none exists. Do not ever, for any reason, take one. It will only make things worse.

    Oh yeah, and cops lie. Always. Every time they sit in the witness box, every piece of paperwork they file, even when they know there is a goddamned camera on their dashboard recording everything they do and say, they still fucking LIE.

    Did I mention that police officers are dishonest? And don’t get me started on prosecutors…

  80. #80 |  You All Disgust Me | 

    BAC of 0.0 is NOT just cause for a DUI arrest!…

    Designated driver? Check.
    Refused roadside sobriety test? Check (and good for her!)
    Woman incarcerated and blood test comes back 0.0? Check.
    Falsifying a police report in a petty attempt to get revenge? Oh you’d better believe that’s a …

  81. #81 |  John Skookum | 

    “bob” blathers about “knuckle-dragging neo-cons” who want to outlaw homosex. Bob is using the word neo-con incorrectly. The word he wants is “paleo-con” or “evangelical conservative.” The neo-conservative movement refers to former liberals, many but not all of them Jewish, who favor a muscular and interventionist military and foreign policy centered around the security of Israel. They care less about homosex and other domestic social issues than any other kind of conservative except perhaps the “libertarian conservatives,” of which I am one. Too many ignorant leftists use “neo-con” as a general term of abuse for anyone on the Right with whom they disagree, much like the word “fascist.” It is a sign of sloppy thinking.

  82. #82 |  Joel Rosenberg | 

    Hmmm, attorney and wife, with nothing better to do, set the stage by spilling a little booze on the wife, and acting out other objective symptoms. They drive around at night w/out headlights waiting to get pulled over. When they are, refuse to cooperate, and end up arrested. I suspect this is a publicity stunt by the lawyers, but then I’m cynical.

    Not nearly cynical enough. You forgot to explain why both the miscreant officer and his supervisor played along with the setup by refusing to require the driver to submit to a breathalyzer test, which would have made it clear that she wasn’t drinking, and would have saved the officer from having to invent her smelling of alcohol. (Note: not the car. “Strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from breath.” Emphasis added.)

    It’s actually a conspiracy by the officer, his supervisor, the lawyer, and her husband. And throw in Steve Berry, the spokesman for the department, who forgot to invent a story about how both Gonzalez’s and his supervisor’s breathalyzer’s, along with their homework, was eaten by the dog.

  83. #83 |  The Agitator » Blog Archive » “Professional Courtesy” and DWI | 

    […] Earlier this week, I posted on a DUI case in Mesa, Arizona where a police officer oddly saw signs of drunkenness in a woman whose blood-alcohol level came back at .00. Now out of San Jose, California comes a story about a well-connected former police officer who, apparently flat-out knockered, rear-ended an Escalade, which then flipped the median and struck an oncoming Jetta. […]

  84. #84 |  Rough Ol’ Boy » Blog Archive » Guilty Until Proven Innocent | 

    […] Link via the Agitator. […]

  85. #85 |  Dreadnaught | 

    If one was intoxicated on something else, she would not have smelled of booz.

  86. #86 |  Wilbur | 

    Hey I’m with MikeC. Actually, with a lawyer in her car, I don’t believe HER story. We recently had a case here in Australia where a very senior judge was caught out stealing his own blood test sample. In my (all aussie based) experience, no one is more dishonest about traffic offences than lawyers.

    Another lawyer is about to do jail time over here for nominating another driver for a series of traffic offences his car was sighted at. Er, only problem is, the nominated driver was deceased at the time of the offences.

    The be-all end-all moment for me was a recent case where I found out a lawyer wished to lodge a formal complaint against me. I pointed out that my conversation with his client was recorded on my pocket mp3 device throughout the entire arrest. Surprise, surprise- the lawyer dropped everything without even listening to the recording, and his client turned up to court alone and plead guilty.

    Funny old world ain’t it?

  87. #87 |  Russ Richelsoph | 

    I personally know Jason and Heather Squires. I am also a criminal defense attorney. The stop was definitely not a “publicity stunt.” Any suggestion that it was is ridiculous. Jason was very worried about what would happen to his wife when she was taken away in handcuffs. Imagine how you would feel about your wife being handcuffed and taken away with a bunch of male police officers after you had just beat the cop in question at trial.

    They were also very embarrassed about what happened and initially did not want to tell anyone about it, but eventually decided that letting others know about Officer Bond Gonzalez and what he did was the right thing to do.

    The officer wrote on his Admin Per Se suspension form that he smelled the strong odor of alcohol on her breath. Not on her clothes. Officer Gonzalez lied. Plain and simple.

    Officers will routinely remove an individual from the car and away from passengers in order to isolate any odors. In his report, the officer stated that the reason he removed Heather from the car was to be able to distinguish any odor of alcohol coming from her from the passengers. Apparently, Officer Gonzalez never followed through on this.

  88. #88 |  Edintally | 

    Wilbur, in your little faith-based hypothesis how did she manage to get a duplicate vial, with a duplicate sticker, forged initials on the sticker, a duplicate plastic or paper police issue evidence bag to put the vial of clean blood into, and again forging initials and or signatures on the bag? Do you think she broke into the police station or the lab to switch out bags? Of course, this is all assuming the blood wasn’t taken at a hospital and immediately sent to the lab.

    Maybe we should throw out our quaint procedures because an idiot judge and two idiot lawyers who live on the other side of the planet screwed up? Or maybe, just maybe, we’ll continue to use procedure and the rule of law, ’cause we’re funny like that.

    It is funny though. Put a Foster on my tab and shotgun it mate.

  89. #89 |  Joel Rosenberg | 

    Officer Gonzalez lied. Plain and simple.
    Yup. The only other possibility is a very, very elaborate setup — just this side of impossible on the face of it — in which Gonzo and his superior were participants, as they had two chances to use the preposterously easy and ordinary way to escape the trap: use the damn breathalyzer, rather wave their little . . . badges around.

    Beyond that, both Patrick here and Patterico over on Volokh.com, smart guys that they are, don’t supply much of a motivation. Here, it’s “having nothing better to do.” Hardly much of a reason to engage in a complicated, unlikely-to-succeed, and preposterously easy to defeat setup.

    Revenge? Err . . . as one will recall, it was Jason Squires who, on behalf of his (probably guilty) client, beat Gonzo in court. A good, professional police officer (I have no reason to think that Gonzo is) would shrug that off, but even a corrupt, mischievous attorney (and I have no reason to think Squires is that, either) can’t get revenge over having won.

    That said, and while IANAL, the credibility of a witness is, as I understand it, always relevant, and if and when Squires proves, in court, that Gonzo has lied in official matters, his PD may well end up deciding it’s better to put him in charge of something where credibility is less important.

    You know: promote him to Chief?

  90. #90 |  PsychoPhil - Beer is History | 

    […] DWI Arrest at 0.0 This isn’t the first time pre-written, xeroxed or boilerplate DWI reports have come up. Not the first time someone’s been arrested at 0.0 (tags: politics police corruption) […]

  91. #91 |  The Agitator » Blog Archive » Video Catches Top Chicago DWI Cop in a Lie | 

    […] written before about the problems with the use of boilerplate on DWI reports. The story also reinforces the importance of video to check against police misconduct. Digg […]

  92. #92 |  Melora | 

    I was followed by THREE police cars as I drove into my parking lot. I was told that someone spotted a green Toyota. I was over a mile away, on a different street. My first that was “how badly would I have to be swerving for a private citizen to report me and tree cop cars sent to find me.” Actually. maybe they sent other cars to check other possibe routs. I was so confused and scared I did whatever they told me to. I failed the field sobriety test. A word for those who don’t know, if you are clumsy or nervous in the presents of three cops looking at you, DO NOT agree to the field sobriety test. Or get out there an practice your balancing skills and maybe get some counseling.

    They handcuffed me and took me to the jail. I got 0.00 on the breathelizer. If I had not taken the field tests, that would have been it. Instead, they made me sign that I would allow all the tests they wanted to do or be fined $250 and lose my licence. So they did more balancing acts. I passed all the other tests I think. Except I was crying the whole time. The report is incomplete because they do not have the results of the urine test yet. They won’t tell me what they have on me, if anything. I have to go back to court May 5.

    They want me to take tests to prove I am still capable of driving. This requires evaluationd from a doctora, eye examiner. And I think I’ll have to do it even if my case is dismissed. I’m 55 and a very cautious driver. I’ve never even got a speeding ticket.

  93. #93 |  steph l | 

    Citizen calls in/ pissed off could not get around me/tells cops drunk driver to get even/rogue cops/charge dui/ blood and alco test/ all negetive/ pay towing lawyer 3000.00/ case dismissed/ can i sue for damage and medical from trauma/ malicious cops had fun screwing with me 60 year old lady.

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