Last year, a 64-year-old man went for a swim and then got in his car to drive home. According to the Deseret News, while he was driving, the car veered over the lane’s white lines. Law enforcement pulled him over and accused him of drunk driving after looking at the man’s eyes. They forced him to do sobriety checks, even though the man told them he had two bad knees as well as a hip due for surgery in just a few days.
After completing the sobriety checks, the man was arrested, handcuffed and taken to the police station. There, law enforcement administered a breath test, which returned a registered blood alcohol concentration of 0.000. Despite having no alcohol in his system, law enforcement still detained him until an expert eventually cleared him. However, his car had already been impounded, and the state division of motor vehicles had been alerted of his arrest. Unfortunately, falsifying DUI charges is a practice happening here in Minnesota and across the country.
Innocence still has consequences
In Sacramento, California, police officer pled no contest to filing false reports regarding drunken drivers. In Utah, a state trooper faces a lawsuit due to making arrests and filing false information. The city of Chicago, Illinois, had to pay $450,000 to several drivers who were wrongly charged with DUI.
In each of these circumstances, the victims of the accusations had to remain vigilant in order to prove their innocence. Unfortunately, despite having done no wrong, many of these people still faced serious repercussions as a result of the arrest. Facing false accusations of driving drunk often means more than having to prove innocence and can cause a number of problems, including the following:
- Spending time in jail
- Paying unnecessary fines
- Incurring the cost of an attorney and paying court fees
- Higher insurance premiums
Additionally, people who are wrongly accused may have to negotiate with the division of motor vehicles to remove points from their driver’s licenses.
The right to fight
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, 28,418 people in the state were arrested on DUI charges in 2012. Of those, less than 76 percent resulted in convictions. People facing DUI charges in Minnesota should be aware of their rights as well as the state’s implied consent law. The law states that anyone who is arrested on drunk driving charges is required to submit either a urine, breath or blood test. Refusing to take a test is considered a crime that results in at least a one-year license suspension.
A DUI charge does not automatically constitute a conviction. Anyone who has been pulled over on suspicion of driving drunk should contact a defense attorney immediately.