A sad story out of Arizona highlights the lasting damage that an impaired driving charge can leave on a person’s criminal record, haunting even innocent drivers for years to come.
The case in question began when a teenage driver in Tempe, AZ was pulled over one evening last August after a night out with friends. The boy says that it was late and he dropped something on the floor of his car. As he bent over to pick it up, his car swerved slightly, prompting a nearby police officer to pull him over. The cop asked the teenager to step out of the vehicle and says he detected the smell of marijuana. The teen told the officer that he had been at a house where others were smoking but that he had not participated.
The officer, apparently unconvinced, ordered the teen to perform a series of field sobriety tests, which the driver says he messed up due to nerves. It didn’t take long for the officer to conclude that the driver must have been impaired and slapped the boy in handcuffs. Once he was arrested he was charged with a drug DUI and had a blood sample taken to confirm the presence of intoxicating substances. To the officer’s surprise, the test came back clean, showing that absolutely nothing illegal was in the boy’s system the night of the arrest.
Since the clean blood test, the teen hired an attorney to pursue the matter, worried about what the charges could do to his future. Thankfully, efforts by his lawyer resulted in the drug DUI charges being dropped late last month. Though this is good news for the teen, the reality is that the charges will remain on his record forever.
The tenn’s attorney says that even though the charges were dropped, the record of his arrest can hang around and stain his otherwise spotless record, making things like applying for college or a job difficult. As a result, the teenager says that he will be petitioning Arizona officials to clear his record formally, allowing him to move forward unscathed by the unjustified arrest.
Officials with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office say that though they do a good job to ensure that their drug screening process is accurate, it is not foolproof. A spokesperson for the department said that in about five percent of all cases for drug DUI it turns out that the person was not under the influence of an illegal substance. The department says that they work hard to avoid charging innocent drivers but admit that sometimes drug tests reveal that overly suspicious officers made mistakes.
Why a skilled DWI Attorney in Minnesota can prove a great asset
Every DUI related traffic offense can carry its own set of complexities. Therefore, it is extremely important to consult with an attorney with a vast amount of experience to review your case to determine all possible issues or defenses that can be raised on your behalf.
Douglas T. Kans and his defense team have been litigating Minnesota drunk driving related offenses for over 19 years. Over this time, they have had a tremendous amount of success in preventing convictions for DWI related offense. However, every case is different and therefore carry with it a separate set of facts. If you would like to schedule a free case review of your situation, please contact us.
Source: article by Elizabeth Erwin, published at ABC15.com.