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  1. #1
    Master Moron is offline Member
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    Falsely arrested for DUI

    So, last summer I was driving home from a networking event. I reached a red light. It turned green and as I began to go a cop on a bicycle pulled in front of my car and motioned to the right with his arm. He looked kind of pissed and I didn't want to get in trouble or anything so I turned right, which is what I assumed he wanted me to do. After all, I couldn't move forward into the intersection since I would have hit him. I go about half a block down the street that he was motioning towards and then two other cops on bicycles ride in front of me and I have to slam down on my breaks to avoid hitting them. The cop who previously motioned for me to turn right then ran up to my car, opened my door(it was unlocked, stupid, I know), put my car into park, and took my keys out of the ignition. He then ordered me to get out of the car.

    He told me he was writing me a ticket for going the wrong way down a one way street and for disobeying a police officer. Now, I was pretty freaked out at this point, since I was being extra careful to look for one way signs since it was late at night and I wasn't familiar with the area. I asked if there was a sign and the officer lied and said there were signs on both sides of the street. In reality, there was only one one way sign and it was behind a tree, so it was even an extra cautious driver wouldn't have been able to tell it was a one way street.

    Anyway, after an illegal search, the officer then started asking me questions about how much I had to drink that night. I stupidly told the truth, that I had a couple of drinks earlier but I've just been drinking water for the past three hours. He eventually asked me if I was willing to do a field sobriety test. I refused and he told me he was going to arrest me for DUI. I asked to do the breathalyzer at the station and I blew a 0.00 so he had no choice but to drop the DUI charge. Unfortunately, they towed my car and I had to wait in the lobby until the morning for the tow yard to open and then I had to walk two hours to the tow yard and pay $140 to get my car out.

    I still had the two traffic tickets, but those eventually got dismissed because the officer didn't show up for court. I eventually got a copy of the police report and I was a little shocked how peppered with lies it was. He wrote that my breath had a strong odor of alcohol, that my eyes were red, and that I couldn't stand up without falling over. How does he have the audacity to lie about me not being able to stand up straight and then later on in the same report he states that I blew a 0.00? He also said that I admitted to not paying enough attention to my driving when I went down the one way street. I was being extra careful that night, there's no way in hell I would have said that I wasn't paying enough attention to my driving.

    I guess I'm only out $140 bucks for the tow, but I'm still a little pissed. I mean, he told me that he's never had a suspect blow a 0.00 before, but I wonder how many suspects he arrested who were too scared to take the breathalyzer? I bet he made up stuff about them having signs of intoxication as well. I did try to contact a civil rights attorney and they said that it seems clear that my rights were violated, but unfortunately since I didn't miss any work I can't really show any damages other than the $140 tow. Would there be any advantage in filing a complaint with the police department or would that likely just get thrown out? Is there any way to recover the $140 for the tow?
  2. #2
    cyjeff is offline Senior Member
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    There are many substances that can make you red eyed and falling over without triggering a breathalyser.

    Let me make sure I understand this...

    You want to know if, six months later, you can recover $140?

    What, was this your very favorite $140?

    Let it go.
  3. #3
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    You can always make a complaint to the agency,but I doubt that will help get the money back after all this time. An arrest is based upon probable cause, not upon absolute certainty. Since you admitted to having consumed alcohol the officer very well could have smelled alcohol on you. It is also possible he felt that you had trouble standing - maybe you did. Maybe he exaggerated or lied. In any event, proving he lied will be about as easy as him proving you were impaired at this point.

    But, it might not hurt to bring the incident up to the agency. If the officer is a problem, then it might be something they would like to hear.

    If you do not wish to speak to their investigator in internal affairs, then you may want to just move on.

    Of course, you can always TRY to go after them in small claims court, though I believe that you will probably not obtain a judgment. But,you can give it a go if you wish.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  4. #4
    Master Moron is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    You can always make a complaint to the agency,but I doubt that will help get the money back after all this time. An arrest is based upon probable cause, not upon absolute certainty. Since you admitted to having consumed alcohol the officer very well could have smelled alcohol on you. It is also possible he felt that you had trouble standing - maybe you did. Maybe he exaggerated or lied. In any event, proving he lied will be about as easy as him proving you were impaired at this point.
    Well, it was definitely a stupid idea to tell him that. I just thought if I was honest he would let me go. Back in the area where I grew up I one time got pulled over for driving under the speed limit. I admitted to having a couple of beers and the officer just had me pull over in a parking lot and wait a half an hour before driving home. But, I guess the cops around here are jerks. Next time I get pulled over I'll definitely refuse to answer any questions.

    I think it's pretty unlikely that he smelled alcohol on my breath since I was also stuffing my face with mexican food throughout the night. If he smelled anything on my breath it would be beans and chiles. There's also no way that I had trouble standing up. I actually asked him at the scene why he thought I was drunk and he said that my breath smelled like alcohol and my eyes were red, but he didn't mention me not being able to stand up. He definitely added that in after the fact.

    Anyway, out of curiosity, if I had been smart and remained silent, would it have made my case better? I mean, without my admission I would imagine he would be more cautious about making up lies about seeing signs of intoxication.

    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    But, it might not hurt to bring the incident up to the agency. If the officer is a problem, then it might be something they would like to hear.
    Well, I looked this guy up online and he has over 100 dui arrests. So, I wouldn't doubt that he's done something like this before. But, keep in mind that there were at least 3 other cops on the scene, so they're all likely to back him. Though, based on something the officer said on the scene, it sounded like he's gotten in trouble before for something similar.

    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    If you do not wish to speak to their investigator in internal affairs, then you may want to just move on.
    So, would I actually be required to testify at an internal affairs investigation or would I just fill out the paperwork and be done with it? I'm actually a little concerned about retaliation. I've heard stories of entire police agencies retaliating against someone if they file a complaint.
  5. #5
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Moron View Post
    Well, it was definitely a stupid idea to tell him that. I just thought if I was honest he would let me go.
    The most common answer to the question of how much a person has had to drinks is "two" or "a couple." So, we usually assume it is a lie, or at least highly suspect when we hear that answer.

    Next time I get pulled over I'll definitely refuse to answer any questions.
    Certainly your choice. Though it may backfire on you, too.

    I think it's pretty unlikely that he smelled alcohol on my breath since I was also stuffing my face with mexican food throughout the night.
    Most of the distinctive alcohol odor comes from the alcohol being purged through the pores, and not on your breath.

    If he smelled anything on my breath it would be beans and chiles.
    Or, maybe bear and chili scented beer breath.

    There's also no way that I had trouble standing up. I actually asked him at the scene why he thought I was drunk and he said that my breath smelled like alcohol and my eyes were red, but he didn't mention me not being able to stand up. He definitely added that in after the fact.
    Or, he just did not tell you that at the scene. Again, no way to prove that he did not see what he claims he saw.

    Anyway, out of curiosity, if I had been smart and remained silent, would it have made my case better? I mean, without my admission I would imagine he would be more cautious about making up lies about seeing signs of intoxication.
    He may well have still smelled the odor of alcohol, saw the bloodshot or red eyes, and might have seen you with an unsteady gait. I don't know. It might have helped out, or, it might have made no difference. If you refused the FSTs anyway, then he had very little to go on to begin with.

    Well, I looked this guy up online and he has over 100 dui arrests.
    Over what period of time? 100 may not be all that overwhelming if he has had a long career or is regularly assigned to DUI or traffic patrols.

    So, I wouldn't doubt that he's done something like this before. But, keep in mind that there were at least 3 other cops on the scene, so they're all likely to back him.
    Likely only if they concur with his observations. However, they may not have been close enough to render much of an opinion as to your sobriety.

    Though, based on something the officer said on the scene, it sounded like he's gotten in trouble before for something similar.
    If so, then a complaint might be worthwhile. If this guy is a problem and is making stuff up, he is not only a rogue, but he is a liability for the agency. Personally, I have never understood why someone would want to make stuff up? There are enough drunks and bad guys out there without having to make stuff up.

    So, would I actually be required to testify at an internal affairs investigation or would I just fill out the paperwork and be done with it?
    It could be one or both.

    I'm actually a little concerned about retaliation. I've heard stories of entire police agencies retaliating against someone if they file a complaint.
    Unless you live in Podunk and in some backwater, I doubt that will be a problem. I don't see where you mentioned your state, but that sort of thing does not tend to happen in MOST places.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  6. #6
    Master Moron is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    If so, then a complaint might be worthwhile. If this guy is a problem and is making stuff up, he is not only a rogue, but he is a liability for the agency. Personally, I have never understood why someone would want to make stuff up? There are enough drunks and bad guys out there without having to make stuff up.
    The state where I currently reside has a huge reputation for corruption. You can probably guess what state I'm in just from just from that statement alone. There was actually a lawsuit filed against a cop in my state just a few months ago where 21 people claimed they were falsely arrested for DUI. It's good to know that there's still honest cops like you who are out there. It's too bad the bad ones ruin the reputation of the good ones. Anyway, your advice made me feel a little bit better about the situation. I don't know what I'm going to do yet, though. Thanks a lot.
  7. #7
    Isis1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Moron View Post
    The state where I currently reside has a huge reputation for corruption. You can probably guess what state I'm in just from just from that statement alone. There was actually a lawsuit filed against a cop in my state just a few months ago where 21 people claimed they were falsely arrested for DUI. It's good to know that there's still honest cops like you who are out there. It's too bad the bad ones ruin the reputation of the good ones. Anyway, your advice made me feel a little bit better about the situation. I don't know what I'm going to do yet, though. Thanks a lot.
    which now brings up the first question that was asked of you.



    what is the NAME of your state?
  8. #8
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    I'm guessing, based upon the statement that the state "has a huge reputation for corruption," that it might be Louisiana?
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  9. #9
    Master Moron is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    I'm guessing, based upon the statement that the state "has a huge reputation for corruption," that it might be Louisiana?
    Actually, it's Illinois. I didn't realize that Louisiana had a reputation for corruption.

    By the way, you mentioned that when people smell like alcohol, it is usually the alcohol being purged from the pores. How long would one smell like alcohol? I mean, if you had one beer, how long would you smell like alcohol for?
  10. #10
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Moron View Post
    Actually, it's Illinois. I didn't realize that Louisiana had a reputation for corruption.

    By the way, you mentioned that when people smell like alcohol, it is usually the alcohol being purged from the pores. How long would one smell like alcohol? I mean, if you had one beer, how long would you smell like alcohol for?
    Probably for the length of time it is being purged from the system. Perhaps for an hour and a half per drink consumed?
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  11. #11
    Master Moron is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    Probably for the length of time it is being purged from the system. Perhaps for an hour and a half per drink consumed?
    Then if I blew a 0.000 there would have been no way that he would smell alcohol on me if it was all purged from my system, right? I mean, I guess there was a half an hour between the time when he pulled me over and the time when I actually took the test, but it would have to have been almost entirely purged from my system even a half hour earlier if I blew a 0.000.

    By the way, you mentioned before that refusing to answer any questions on the scene could backfire on me. How so? They can't use the assertion of your right to remain silent as probable cause to arrest, can they?
  12. #12
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Moron View Post
    Then if I blew a 0.000 there would have been no way that he would smell alcohol on me if it was all purged from my system, right?
    I did not say that. But, it would be more difficult. Though, the odor could remain on your clothing and even lingering in the car, and the device (if a portable field device) could be off and it could be as much as .02.

    I mean, I guess there was a half an hour between the time when he pulled me over and the time when I actually took the test, but it would have to have been almost entirely purged from my system even a half hour earlier if I blew a 0.000.
    That does not mean he did not smell it.

    By the way, you mentioned before that refusing to answer any questions on the scene could backfire on me. How so? They can't use the assertion of your right to remain silent as probable cause to arrest, can they?
    It depends on the question. Sometimes, if a person has a logical explanation for something it answers a nagging question.

    If I smell an overwhelming aroma of beer on someone and they look blankly at me when I ask why they smell like a brewery, that might be seen as an element of the alcohol impairment. On the other hand, if they clearly and logically explained (without slurring or rambling) that they were at a party drinking coke and a friend spilled a beer on them, it explains things.

    Without explanation, sometimes all the officer has to go on is what he saw. Perhaps you are not impaired but you have a droopy eye condition ... perhaps you have a condition that causes our pupils to be blown naturally ... perhaps you stumbled because you have a dislocated hip ... any number to hings can potentially be explained away when silence might leave a more negative or damning impression.

    Now, if you are impaired or think you might be, shutting up is probably in your best interest. Fortunately, most people who are impaired do not think clearly enough to do that. Or, as they are degrading the officer and explaining their rights, they are doing so with beer-sodden breath and slurred speech.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  13. #13
    Master Moron is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    It depends on the question. Sometimes, if a person has a logical explanation for something it answers a nagging question.

    If I smell an overwhelming aroma of beer on someone and they look blankly at me when I ask why they smell like a brewery, that might be seen as an element of the alcohol impairment. On the other hand, if they clearly and logically explained (without slurring or rambling) that they were at a party drinking coke and a friend spilled a beer on them, it explains things.
    Well, obviously they wouldn't just stare blankly. You would have to explain that you are asserting your rights in order for the officer to know that. Most lawyers seem to recommend saying something like "I don't mean to be rude, but I know that I don't have to answer your questions." or "I know you're just doing your job, but I have a right not to answer any questions." As for the "beer spilled on me" excuse, I can't see that ever working. I read a case where a suspect tried that excuse and he still got arrested and charged.

    Besides, just from my experience from this incident, I see how easy it is for an officer to twist around your words when writing the police report. In my case when he asked me about going the wrong way down a one way street, I explained to him that I was reading directions that said that I needed to go east and turn left, but I was parked facing west, and I didn't want to take a u-turn because I didn't know if it was legal, so I took a left, a left, and another left. The officer took this explanation and twisted it into "he was looking at his directions and admitted that he probably wasn't paying enough attention to his driving." That just pisses me off, as I said no such thing. I was paying the utmost attention to my driving, I just couldn't see the one way sign because it was behind a tree. If he actually showed up for court that "statement" would have been damning in my traffic case.

    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    Without explanation, sometimes all the officer has to go on is what he saw. Perhaps you are not impaired but you have a droopy eye condition ... perhaps you have a condition that causes our pupils to be blown naturally ... perhaps you stumbled because you have a dislocated hip ... any number to hings can potentially be explained away when silence might leave a more negative or damning impression.

    Now, if you are impaired or think you might be, shutting up is probably in your best interest. Fortunately, most people who are impaired do not think clearly enough to do that. Or, as they are degrading the officer and explaining their rights, they are doing so with beer-sodden breath and slurred speech.
    Well, you just said that most of the smell comes from the pores, so it really wouldn't matter if they opened their mouth or not, since the officer would be able to smell it anyway. I just can't see any benefits to being honest, as you previously stated that even if you've only had a couple of drinks, an officer will still think you're lying. It seems much more beneficial to not give them any potentially incriminating evidence.
  14. #14
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    I am simply saying that there are times that it does benefit you to remain silent. Usually when you have not had anything to drink and are not impaired on medication, illicit drugs, or alcohol. And you might be surprised how people can manage to do dumb things that get them taken to jail when a simple explanation might have kept them out. Had one of those just tonight (though not for DV). Perfectly reasonable explanation, but he did not want to say anything. So, all we had to go on was the girlfriend's account so he went to jail. It was not until he was at the jail that he explained what happened and we were able to verify it. Unfortunately, he now has an arrest record because he decided to clam up in the field ... he listened to his sister or cousin (can't recall her relationship to him).

    The law of unintended consequences, and all ...

    As a note, in my 18+ years I have yet to have anyone who is remotely impaired refuse all the tests or to speak with me at all. Very often their refusal and my observations at contact are quite sufficient to establish probable cause (assuming it exists at all). I do not recall a single sober driver ever refusing to speak to me. I do recall a couple sober ones who asked me questions or got a little miffed at being stopped, but none that have downright refused. And, there have been a number of drunks who decided it was time to stop cooperating when they realized they were blotto. But, by then, it was too late ... and, quite frankly, I had probably had enough to support an arrest by the conclusion of initial contact, anyway.
    Last edited by CdwJava; 01-20-2010 at 03:16 AM.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  15. #15
    jenniferg1975 is offline Junior Member
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    They are all liars even if they seem nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Cops work for their employers their training is to make an arrest whenever possible, they can legally trick you, lie to you, do what ever they can to make their arrest(because they know once they have you it will be extremely difficult for you to get out of their system without some type of charge) Like your charge of impound fees! They will never admit it but all of these people are connected from the lowest area of who has the contract from the city to tow your vechicle all the way up to the judges!! Ever read the reports about the judges who ordered scram bracelets for everything even non- alcohol related offences? The reason for this is to make money the more money they make the more people they hire the more people they hire the more money they make! Get it ! Its a lose ,lose situation for everyone except the corrupt people who are all involved in this exploitation of the general unsuspecting public! Time and time again I hear I'm an honest citizen who did everything in my power to be a good person if you believe the old I'm here to protect and serve you truely are an innocent, their there to generate money! Kiss your $140 goodbye and move on trying to get justice in this country Just doesnt work the statue of the blindfolded women standing in front of our court houses has been raped,beaten and killed. My point they all lie and they
    dont care about YOU,they care only for themselves and the next election or payperiod.

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