I was recently quoted by NHPR about how I expect false arrests to go up. This just shows that dishonest cops can arrest someone for DUI (and if that person refused a breath or blood test, there is a good chance they would be convicted of DUI since it would be there word against the cop. Unfortunately, most police departments do not have videos from the police vehicle. So, a police officer who wants to, can make up things to get an arrest. It is shameful the officer received an award for Trooper of the year for the high number of DUI arrests. It just goes to show an officer could have an incentive to make up things. (Please note this story is exceptionally rare, and an overwhelming majority of police officers are honest. The problem is, without videos, it is difficult to distinguish the good guys from the bad ones)
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against a former Utah Highway Patrol trooper and her superiors alleging that she filed false DUI charges during her career.
The department fired Lisa Steed in November for alleged misconduct related to her duties.
Attorney Michael Studebaker, who is one of the lawyers leading the class-action lawsuit, says he has been contacted by at least 40 people claiming Steed wrongfully arrested them on DUI or drug charges.
"Culture of corruption. The stories are just rampant," said Studebaker, who filed the lawsuit Dec. 14 in District Court in Salt Lake County."
"Choate was arrested and charged with DUI, but the charge was reduced to having an open container of alcohol in the car after a blood test showed he was not drunk. Choate says he was forced to pay $3,000 in fines to get his car back."
"Studebaker also cites a dashcam video from a 2011 traffic stop that he says shows Steed's pulling over a woman driver. The video shows the driver performing a series of sobriety tests. Studebaker says the unidentified woman passed all the tests with flying colors but was still arrested for DUI."
"Steed was named Utah Highway Patrol's "Trooper of the Year" in 2007 for making more than 200 DUI arrests, a reward that Studebaker says should be taken away from her."
In 2009, dashcam video showed Steed stun-gunning Ryan Jones, a motorist who was later determined to be sober.
The case was settled in November 2011 when the state paid Jones $40,000 without admitting wrongdoing.
When asked about that case, Skordas said, "She took her lumps, she was reprimanded and we move on.""