A class-action lawsuit has been filed against a former Utah Highway Patrol trooper who allegedly falsified dozens of DUI charges throughout the course of her career.
The department fired the woman in November for misconduct.
At this time, at least 40 people have come forward saying the former trooper wrongfully arrested them on DUI or drug charges.
The lawsuit was filed Dec. 14 in District Court in Salt Lake County. It is unknown at this time how much plaintiffs will be seeking in monetary damages.
Utah Highway Patrol claims it cannot comment on pending litigation.
The woman is currently under investigation by the FBI.
A dashcam video from a 2011 traffic stop apparently shows the former trooper pulling over a female driver and asking her to perform a series of field sobriety tests, which the camera evidence shows she passed. The woman was still arrested for DUI. Charges were later dropped after there was no evidence of alcohol found in the woman’s body.
The former trooper was named Utah Highway Patrol’s “Trooper of the Year” in 2007 for making more than 200 DUI arrests, a reward that many people should be taken away from her due to her alleged misconduct.
The woman admitted at a court hearing in May 2012, that she did not follow proper protocol while administering a DUI check in the past. She claims that while she was administering a blood-alcohol test in 2010, that she removed her microphone in order to perform the unauthorized test.
This woman’s alleged actions could call all her cases into question. Her alleged conduct during DUI stops could be the basis for overturning numerous convictions made in the past. It will be interesting to see how this case plays out and what, if any, ramifications this former Utah Highway Patrol trooper receives.
While this alleged act of police misconduct is shocking, it is not something that has not been brought up before. Wrongful DUI arrests by police can and do occur, and it is not uncommon to hear of an officer falsifying an arrest report. Sadly, there are many people convicted of crimes each year that they did not commit all because of reports made by overzealous law enforcement officers. A wrongful DUI conviction can follow a person around for the rest of their life, affecting their personal reputation and future employment options. That is why it is extremely important for police to be undeniably certain an actual crime has been committed before charging a person with DUI.
If you believe that you or someone you love was falsely arrested for DUI, you should contact a Florida DUI Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton right away. It is in your best interests to cooperate with police, but to remain silent and not make any statements until you have legal counsel present. It is not uncommon for police to use your words against you and twist them around to incriminate you in court. Anyone arrested for DUI has legal rights, and if you were wrongfully arrested for DUI you may be able to recover financial damages.
If you have been the victim of a wrongful DUI arrest anywhere in the state of Florida, a Florida DUI Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you through this difficult time. We can begin reviewing the facts of your arrest right away and provide you with an honest assessment of your case. Contact us today online or reach us statewide and toll-free by dialing 1-866-608- 5529.