Anyone who has ever been pulled over for driving under the influence knows how troubling and potentially embarrassing it can be. Standing on the side of the road, going through the field sobriety tests as other drivers slow down to see what is going on. In a recent story in the New Jersey Herald, a woman claims that a police officer had lied about whether she appeared to be driving under the influence. A blood test revealed that she had no alcohol in her system.
The woman is a tavern owner and had previously questioned the tactics that the local police used to stop drivers in her hometown. It is her contention that this criticism of the department’s practice of stopping drivers prompted the officer to stop her and accuse her of driving under the influence of alcohol.
The woman was driving home from her business when the officer pulled her over. The police officer ticketed her for waiting too long at a flashing yellow light and littering. The officer also apparently claimed that she failed the field sobriety tests, smelled of alcohol and was glassy-eyed. But as mentioned above, a blood test showed no traces of alcohol and the officer did not ticket her for drunk driving. A judge later dismissed the littering and ‘sitting too long at a yellow light’ tickets as well.
It is not difficult to imagine that the woman’s prior criticisms of the police procedures may have had some merit based on her experience. Despite having no alcohol in her system, the officer was apparently ready to claim that she had failed the field sobriety tests and had all the other subjective indicators of someone under the influence.
Source: New Jersey Herald “Trooper wants Pa. DUI stop lawsuit dismissed,” Dec. 5, 2011