Not all DUI arrests are appropriate. Some drivers are arrested and accused of drunk driving in New Jersey when they did not even drink a drop of alcohol. For example, if a police driver pulls you over, he or she might mistake your tired, bloodshot eyes for being a sign that you were drinking. Or, the officer might mistake a common speech impediment for being slurred drunken speech. These might result in an inappropriate arrest and DUI allegations.
In a recent case, a man who was inappropriately arrested for DUI decided to fight back by suing the town that arrested him. Ultimately, the town agreed to pay the man $35,000 as a settlement for unlawfully arresting him.
The man who filed and settled the lawsuit claimed that police in Manasquan, New Jersey, arrested him unlawfully in 2014. In the suit, he cited various claims relating to violations of his civil rights in addition to malicious prosecution.
According to the court record, the man said that a detective approached him while he was removing trash from his vehicle, which was parked at a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot. The man claimed that as he put his trash in the Dunkin’ Donuts garbage can, the detective planted a can of beer in the bin. He said that the detective next proceeded to administer a field sobriety test that rendered an inaccurate result. The detective also administered a Breathalyzer test, which the man passed with flying colors.
In agreeing to the settlement, the town of Manasquan did not admit to any kind of wrongdoing. When asked about the settlement, an attorney representing the town referred to it as a “business decision.”
This case is an excellent example of how some people — who are in the wrong place at the wrong time — can get arrested for crimes of which they are completely innocent. Fortunately, no one accused of a crime will be punished or convicted until — and only if — prosecutors can prove them to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Source: US News, “Town Pays $35,000 in False DUI Arrest Settlement,” Aug. 02, 2017