A recent Utah case illustrates how confounding DUI arrests can be.
A woman driver was rear-ended at an intersection by a car going 30 mph. Her car was totaled. She called 911 for help. But when police arrived on the scene, she was tested for alcohol, body-searched, cuffed and arrested.
Two different, honest points of view
From the woman’s point of view, the arrest was insult added to injury. She had not been drinking, so the test was a false positive. She felt violated by the search, which included a male officer placing hands on her breasts. Then, to be charged with a crime – it was all too much.
From the police’s point of view, however, the arrest was straightforward. The blood alcohol test showed she had alcohol in her system. She acted strangely at the accident scene, speaking in clipped sentences and moving in a jerky fashion.
Taking the field sobriety test, she wobbled a bit, giving clues that she might be under the influence. A police spokesperson stated that the search around her breasts is standard practice taught in any police academy. When there is no a female officer on the scene, a male officer will do it.
So – what really happened?
That is what must be determined when she is tried – unless the case is dismissed beforehand. It may be that what police saw as drunkenness was her reaction to being in a 30 mph pile-up — shock. Imagine having to walk the line minutes after surviving a life-threatening crash.
Maybe the Breathalyzer malfunctioning or was used inappropriately, or was just plain wrong. A blood test taken later showed no sign of intoxication or drugs.
This is why you hire experienced counsel to protect your rights. There are a thousand reasons why DUI cases are thrown out. There are additional thousands that might have been thrown out, had the defendant had a decent lawyer.
While her DUI case awaits resolution, Amanda Houghton is pursuing her own action against the town of Layton, Utah.
If you have been charged with DUI in the Scottsdale area, call attorney Craig Rosenstein for a no-charge, no-obligation case evaluation.