A shocking lawsuit was recently filed by citizens of Utah against a state highway patrol officer and her superiors after it was revealed that the trooper filed false DUI charges against potentially dozens of innocent drivers.
The officer, Lisa Steed, was fired by the Utah Highway Patrol at the end of last year for misconduct related to her professional duties. Attorneys suing the woman and her employer say at least 40 people have come forward thus far claiming that the officer wrongfully arrested them on DUI or drug possession charges. Plaintiffs' attorneys are claiming that the class action suit will show that there's a culture of corruption in the department that has been tolerated by higher-ups for many years.
One of the victims was a man who was pulled over for alleged speeding. His wife was in the car at the time and says her husband was going maybe 50 or 52 miles per hour. Steed said she clocked him going 73. The man was ultimately arrested and charged with DUI, though the charge was reduced to having an open container after a blood test proved he was not intoxicated. Despite his innocence, he ended up having to fork over almost $3,000 in fines before he was able to get his car back.
Yet another outrageous incident was caught on camera when Steed pulled a woman over in 2011. The woman was forced to participate in a series of field sobriety tests, all of which she passed. Despite having passed the tests, Steed arrested the woman for drunk driving. Thankfully the charges were later dropped after a blood test found no alcohol in her system.
Just what role Steed's superiors played in the mess has not yet been determined. To everyone's horror, Steed had been named "Trooper of the Year" in 2007 for making more than 200 DUI arrests. The extent to which Steed was pushed by her bosses to continue cracking down on suspected drunk drivers is not yet known.
So far Steed has not issued a statement regarding the suit and the Utah Highway Patrol has said through its spokesperson that it does not comment on pending litigation. It doesn't look good for the officer; the FBI has revealed it has launched an investigation against Steed. Many criminal defense attorneys in Utah believe her actions may have opened a can of worms. As it stands now a number of her previous convictions are now in danger of being overturned as Steed's credibility has essentially been destroyed.
If you've had a run in with the law and find yourself in need of a Missouri DWI defense lawyer capable of aggressively protecting your interests, contact our St. Louis DWI law firm today at (314) 863-0500.