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Mesa police accused of using excessive force in DUI arrest

Last December, an Arizona woman was driving with a friend when she was pulled over by Mesa police officers because one of her taillights was out. The officers were part of an East Valley DUI Task Force initiative working the area around Broadway Road and Roosevelt Street in Tempe.

They said they smelled marijuana in the 32-year-old's car. According to the police, a breathalyzer test showed that her blood-alcohol content (BAC) was at 0.15 percent. In Arizona, a person can be arrested for DUI if their BAC is at 0.08 percent and above.

Officers asked the woman for permission to take a blood sample, but she declined. After they got a warrant, she declined to let them take the sample, police said.

A scuffle broke out at that point; an altercation recorded on police body cam.

"I had no way to move," the woman said. "They were all on top of me...If I would have known it would have turned out like this, I would have accepted that poke that day."

She said she's afraid of needles; something she tried to explain to the officers. Instead of listening, she claims they pulled her to the ground and that someone poked her with a needle to draw blood.

Officers claimed that during the scuffle, the woman kicked and officer and bit another. She denies the claim.

"I never intentionally hit anyone, kicked anyone, touched anyone," she said. "I didn't do anything."

She says that she's the one who was victimized in the encounter. She says five male police officers were on top of her in the altercation. "They're assaulting me and then try to turn it around and say I assaulted them? It's like they beat me up twice," she said.

We do not know how the DUI charge or the woman's allegations against officers will eventually be resolved, but we do know that the first step in protecting your rights, freedom and driver's license is to speak to a skilled attorney experienced in DUI defense.

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