Please tell me this SHOULDN'T happen with Police in the USA!

  1. OK, this will be long, but it's ALLLLLLL true.

    DH went out Saturday night to meet up with a group of people in DC. There is a blogger in town who has a popular political blog and he was in for some political thing and invited his readers to meet up at a bar in DC by the Mall. So, DH decided to drive in as metro is really slow late at night. He left here around 8:15 pm and got there right at 9 pm. There were about 20 people there and it was just a quiet gathering of like-minded folks at a hotel bar/restaurant. DH ordered a regular martini at 9:15 and sipped on that until 10 pm. He left the bar/restaurant at 12:45 am at which time he called me to tell me he was walking to his car.

    Thank GOODNESS I didn't get that message immediately. I must have been somewhere in the house I couldn't hear the phone (probably cleaning the litterbox! LOL), so I didn't get his message until 2 am when I decided to call his cell to see where he was (He said he would call me when he left.). I then heard that there was a voicemail and I listened to it. I didn't stop to listen to the time it was recorded and erased the message.

    OK, DH is on his way home. I'll get ready for bed. I get ready and I'm waiting to hear him... nothing... 3 am passes. Now I'm getting really worried. With no traffic, the drive should take about 35 minutes, but maybe there's traffic. Maybe there's construction we didn't know about (they tend to do a lot of construction late at night). 3:30 am passes. I call his cell phone - nothing. 3:58 am the phone rings and it's DH. His exact words were, "I've been arrested and I've been detained." I asked if he was OK. He said yes, and I asked what happened and he said he would tell me when he gets home.

    Part of me is relieved, part of me is upset. DH does NOT drink and drive, so what happened? Did he have more than he thought? Are laws in DC really strict? I get online and DC does have zero tolerance. They can give you an OWI with below a .07 Blood Alcohol Concentration if driving is impaired and you fail a field sobriety test. So, I wonder, did he get pulled over and have SOME alcohol in his system? Perhaps.

    But... now, he's still not home. I finally fall asleep sometime after 5:15 am. I wake up with my toddler at 6:15 am - and still no DH. At 7 am I call the police dept and I ONLY have that number because of caller ID. They give me another number and after calling that I learn that DH is STILL being held and to call after 7:30 am. I call at 7:45 am and she asks if I want to pick DH up. I get upset and say, "I don't know where my DH is, what he has done or anything. Can I please speak to him?" The answer is no. They go to DH ask if he wants me to pick him up and a few seconds later the lady comes back on the line and says, "Is there something wrong with your husband lady? He's acting weird. He's saying we should be worried. Well, you two work it out." CLICK.

    Now, that's my side.... here's DH's happenings.

    he gets to his car at 12:45 am and starts driving trying to find 395. At 12:55 am he gets pulled over because he made a left turn when the street sign said no left turn (probably for traffic congestion reasons). DH gets a ticket. The officer asks him if he has had anything to drink and DH said he had one drink from 9:15 to 10 pm and nothing since. The police officer asks him to get out of the car. Now, DH has on just a THIN windbreaker jacket and under that a thin cotton long sleeved shirt. By now it is below freezing outside. Of course DH is nervous and COLD! The officer does the field sobriety test - point finger to a pen, walk a straight line, hold leg up and stand on one leg until the police officer says to stop and does the flashlight eye movement test. It appears that DH's eyes jumped a bit while taking that test (which doesn't surprise me as DH does have eyes that get jumpy when he's nervous or upset). So, the Police officer says DH is intoxicated and had to have had more than one drink. DH insists thsi is not true. The police officer says the eye test proves it... This is not true! It does make it suspicious, but not proof. And DH knows that, so far... no problem.

    Then the officer says, "You are not driving any more tonight. You have three choices. You can call someone and have them pick you up and have your car towed. Call someone to tow your car home with you sitting in the tow truck or come in to take a breathalizer test." Dh, knowing he cannot be drunk chooses the breathalizer test. The officer tells him then that he's under arrest and handcuffs him and places him in the car. DHs car will be impounded. (now... what we don't know... would he have been given an OWI without a breathalizer? Or was the police officer going to let him off? Why the choices? Doesn't it seem like a trap?)

    So, DH gets to the police station and there he is searched (again - oh and his car was searched on the street too). The take his wallet, phone, watch and remove his shoelaces and the string from his jacket. They give him a breathlizer test and it registered 0.00. Then gave him the test again 10-15 minutes later and again it registers 0.00. They put him in a cell to do paperwork and finally at close to 4 am (he only knows this when he is being brought to see a clock) they tell him that their finger printing machine isn't working and so they need to drive him to another police dept. to do that. DH is LIGHTLY protesting being finger printed because WHY is he being held with a 0.00 blood acohol reading? They said it was procedure. They also gave him a paper being charged with OWI and a court date of 12/4 and dh has to sign it. He sees the date and realizes it's when he will be out of the country and says he doesn't want to sign a paper promising to show up in court on a date he knows he's not even in the country. They make him sign it or he won't be released. it was then that he asked if he could call his wife so that I wouldn't worry.

    So, now he expects he'll be released after then take his fingerprints. Nope. The take those and mugshots and put him in a cell and say it will take 20 minutes. 3.5 hours later they go to release him and that's about when I called. When they asked him if he wanted his wife to pick him up. he said, "I want to be sure she's rested enough to drive. I'm sure she didn't sleep much at all." And the police officer said, "What are you afraid of your wife now?" and he said, "no, but you all should be afraid of how this has been handled. I've been detained all night for having a 0.00 BAC for no reason." . They allow him to call me at the door (since we never got to make arrangements when I called) and then once he made arrangements, they literally said, "Go." He asked, "where are my things - my wallet, my phone, etc" And they said at the other police station. Dh asked where that was and they said simply, "near the Jefferson memorial". DH had to wait an hour at freezing temperatures in a thin coat for me to arrive. Now HOW can they do that??? He can't call a cab or me or ANYONE. he can't even really walk well because his shoes have no laces? And then not to even give him a piece of paper with the address???

    I get there and we try to find the other police station which we finally found after asking a couple of police officers on the street. He gets his personal effects, but his copy of the breathilizer test is not there and it SHOULD be. Needless to say, it's been over 48 hours since this happened and he still doesn't have this copy despite driving to get it, calling about it and so on and they all say, "yes you should have gotten it." We did get it verified though that it's in the police report that it says o.oo, but he can't get a copy of the police report for his arrest until 6-10 business days after the arrest. Which leaves less than 2 weeks to prepare for his court date which he HAS to switch around.

    We got the car yesterday and it cost $170 CASH to pick up from a third party.

    Now... can anyone tell me WHY he was arrested? Why when he got the 0.00 on the test and etc why this proceeded? He was held from 12:55 am to 7:45 am for making a wrong left turn which, incidentally is a $25 fine (less than a parking ticket it's so minor an offense). Since we don't have the police report yet we can't know what all was said, but he didn't fail all the sobriety tests, just the eye jerking test and he was cleared of being drunk with the 0.00 reading. (which is the expected result, btw)

    That this can happen and it will cost us over $200 and was a very stressful night for BOTH of us, plus we lost a complete day to this and that's with believing that the charges will be dropped. I mean, HOW can they prosecute this?!?!?! If it's isn't dropped. Then he has to go to court and if he loses (HOW???) then it's MORE punishment, for not being drunk... I don't get it.

    And, not that it matters, but DH is a PhD. grad from a top school and is NO DUMMY. He didn't get irrate or cause problems... so WHY!???? This is America - innocent until proven guilty right? Then how come he was guilty even when proven innocent?

    Please someone comment on this who is more in the know!
  2. i have no idea, this sounds bizarre. sadly you will need an attorney to sort this out..i think i would speak to one, even if charges are not filed. you don't want him to have ANYTHING on his record, as these things are easily found by employers or others doing background checks.

    good luck, sounds like you guys need a good night's sleep.

    so very sorry for this, it sounds like a nightmare.
  3. That's just it... A lawyer will cost even MORE money. It just wants to make me cry. My husband is about as honest as they come.

    If they drop the charges, we will probably just let it be, but we are thinking of sueing because this is just not right - none of it.

    I CAN understand them being suspicious of a driver near 1 am who just made a traffic violation. I can even understand them doing the sobriety test after DH said he had a drink. We can EVEN understand them bringing him in for not passing one of the tests (which if performed PROPERLY still has a 1 in 4 chance of meaning nothing btw, did some research on this.) But what we don't understand is one, why is there not portable breathalizer? Two, why was he held after he had a 0.00? According to the law I found, you can only be charged with a OWI if backed up by a BAC reading. Why didn't they take him back to the police station when he was booked to get his stuff instead of dumping on the street with NOTHING? And, why did they impound his car before seeing if he truly was drunk? And so on....

    How often does this happen? I did some searching and it seems DC is notoriously tough and you WILL get slapped with it even wiht a reading of .03 and have only a 50/50 chance of winning in court, but with a 0.00???

    We are still very upset and we can't spend THOUSANDS of dollars on a lawyer for no reason either! That's the kicker - we might just have to deal with it (if charges are dropped) because pursuing it as an injustice will probably just end up costing us money with no result. it's disgusting really.
  4. Get a free consulation with a lawyer, I believe you have more than enough reason to sue and WIN money for this.
  5. I totally agree. This is bizarre, and wrong.
  6. I agree, get yourself a lawyer, it sounds like you possibly have a lawsuit here. What they did to him was NOT right at all. I wish you two the best!
  7. Thank you... It's kind of scary. This could have happened to ANYONE. DH didn't TRY to make that traffic violation either. he didn't see the sign for no turning left, just a sign that pointed to 395 at the last minute and then he turned. For ANYONE who has driven in DC, you KNOW how horrible it is to drive even if you ARE a good driver!

    I kept thinking, "what if it were me who was stopped for making such a turn?" What if I couldn't have stood with my leg up for as long as the police wanted me to?

    We weren't surprised the breathalizer was 0.00, but we looked and even after 2 hours of drinking that martini it would have registered 0.00 and it had been over 4 hours by the time of the arrest and 4.5 hours since the breathalizer.

    I TRULY can understand a police officer being suspicious. TRULY we both can, but the rest of it???? Maybe if DH was combative, but he is NOT that way. He asked if they could pick another court date. No. Can he put a note on the paper saying he needs it changed due to being out of the country. NO. Can I write in a report somewhere that I was forced to sign a paper that I know I can't adhere to or else I can't be released? No. Will one of you police officers please write it in your report that I asked for a different court date before signing... no answer. I mean, what the heck!?!?!

    How would you feel about signing a paper saying you PROMISE to show up at court on a date you know you cannot? The police officer just said, "this date is tentative. It can be changed later." But it doesn't say tentative anywhere.

    We are just so confused as to how this happened...
  8. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
    Welcome to the world of POLICE doing anything they want- at any given time.. and no consequences.....
  9. That's very true! When I used to live near DC, the driving was a pain, the signs don't seem to give you a chance! It's nearly impossible to navigate through DC perfectly. It's even more terrible during rush hour.:shocked:
    Your DH made an honest mistake, and what it seems like to me is that these people knew they made a mistake, but then tried to justify it by putting him through the "procedure" to try to cover themselves. It's not right at all on you two. I really hope it works out for you guys!
  10. that is terrible you should speak to a laywer I know it's potentially expensive but the whole situation is just wrong your poor DH going through that
  11. My husband is quite upset. He's from former Yugoslavia/Croatia and he's heard of weird things happening there, but either you pay the officer off before a ticket is issued or once they see they've screwed up, you are let go, so this just seems even more perposterous to him.

    He said last night, "you know, if it happens again. I won't do anything. I won't admit I drank a drink 4 hours earlier. I will refuse to take a breathalizer, etc." I talked some sense into him on that one though. If you refuse a breathalizer, you are basically convictable on the other stuff and that's nearly impossible to get a judge to side with the defendant then.

    What he did was RIGHT... he was honest and cooperated with the law... but he feels punished for doing so. However, he would be punished even MORE if he would have refused... so messed up.
  12. i am more concerned that nothing goes on his record (even the arrest itself!) i think it is worth your time and money to see an attorney

    suing may be a possibility, but i think wrongful arrests happen all the time. i am more concerned about protecting your husband's good name.

    please seek advice from someone

    i also don't believe you should "ever" admit to having a gives them cause to get you out of the vehicle, i'm not sure about that...but i don't think i would admit to the drink in that circumstance.

  13. I agree... this CANNOT go on his record!!! He works for the federal gov't, so this is NOT a good thing!

  14. absolutely! that's just what I was thinking they took fingerprints and mug shots of an innocent guy

  15. Dh told me later and he knows his stuff, so I don't doubt it, but there are people on death row who have been cleared with DNA evidence, but they aren't allowed to have a retrial (I don't know why) so, they sit on death row. Now imagine that!