Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Posted: July 9, 2008 in Uncategorized

Here’s something to make you even more paranoid when you drive: you can be arrested for a DUI even when you’re not intoxicated.  In this particular case, the wife of a DUI attorney in Arizona was serving as the designated driver for her husband and a friend of his, and when she was pulled over, the cops arrested her for DUI.  She was cleared when blood tests revealed her BAC to be 0.0.

Now, this could be an example of the cops trying to get even with a DUI lawyer, but it could be even worse than that.  From the New Phoenix Times:

In this time of anti-DUI zeal, are police so eager to make arrests that everyone on the road at night is presumed to be a drunk driver?

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.”

All this on a woman who was sober.

Anyone at that scene should have noticed that Heather Squires didn’t smell of alcohol, that her eyes weren’t bloodshot, that her face wasn’t flushed. She wasn’t, after all, drunk.

But that’s not what they wanted to see.

I experienced some of this firsthand when I was several years younger.  I was on Christmas Break from college, and I had to drop a friend off at his house on the way back from a party.  I had not been drinking but that didn’t stop the cop that pulled me over from immediately administering several different sobriety tests and searching my person without my consent.  I received no ticket and when I asked him why he pulled me over he replied that “when you see four teenage males riding through a suburban neighborhood after midnight, any reason’s a good reason.”

Link via the Agitator.

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