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Class-action suit filed against officer for DUI charges

A Utah Highway Patrol trooper has been accused of filing false DUI charges, and now is facing a class-action lawsuit for the allegations. Her superiors are also involved in the lawsuit, though she was fired for her misconduct. The class-action lawsuit involves at least 40 people who claim to have been wrongfully arrested by the trooper.

One man claimed that the trooper pulled him over for speeding, and claiming he was driving over 70 miles per hour. The driver, however, says he was driving no more than in the early-50s. He was arrested and charged with DUI, but after a blood-test proved he was not drunk, the charge was reduced to an open container charge. He had to pay $3,000 of fines to get his car back as a result of the charge. Oddly, his wife was with him when he was arrested and the officer dropped her off at a fast food restaurant -- with no money or cell phone to get her home.

Another case was evidenced by the trooper's dashboard-mounted camera. The driver was pulled over and the trooper performed sobriety tests which the woman passed. She was arrested for DUI anyway. The charges were dropped as there was no blood-alcohol evidence. This woman is also involved in the class action suit.

The trooper admitted to not following proper DUI check protocols, but will additionally have to answer to the class-action suit for her misconduct in these cases. For people accused of DUI, there are many details to take into account for the defense, including the actions of the officers involved. Certainly, not every law enforcement officer is corrupted in this way, but it is obviously something to take into consideration.

Source: ABC News, "Fired Utah State Trooper Lisa Steed Accused of Falsifying DUI Arrests," John Schriffen, Jan. 4, 2013

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Law Offices of
James N. Papirmeister, Esq.

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As Published in Washingtonian Magazine | Washington's Best Legal Minds | 2013