A Utah Highway Patrol officer responsible for a large amount of DUI arrests in recent years will not be prosecuted for giving false testimony.
In April, a 3rd district judge suppressed evidence in a case, saying the trooper “wasn’t truthful” when she testified about a 2010 traffic stop. The Davis County Attorney’s Office had said it would dismiss any case where the trooper was the major witness.
While at least two judges have found the trooper’s testimony to be unreliable, a Salt Lake County district attorney stated her actions did not warrant further prosecution because he did not believe they could meet the threshold of “beyond a reasonable doubt” in a criminal case.
The officer testified in court that during a 2010 DUI stop, she intentionally left her microphone in her cruiser so her supervisor would not know she violated UHP policy by giving the driver a breathalyzer test before performing a field sobriety check. Her superiors questioned the testimony, indicating she had not mentioned that excuse when she was issued a warning after the incident. In the warning, the officer stated she did not have a reason for removing the microphone.
While she is still employed by the UHP, the trooper was removed from road duty in April 2012 and reassigned to non-law enforcement duty with the Department.
The controversial former “Trooper of The Year” was in the news late last year after using her taser on one driver while he was still in his car. The state ended up paying the driver $40,000 in a settlement.
It is important for those pulled over and charged with driving under the influence to be aware of their rights. As in this case, it is possible the arresting officer may have a history of not following proper procedures, or may even have a reputation for being overly aggressive.
Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, “UHP trooper Steed will not be prosecuted over testimony,” Nate Carlisle, July 30, 2012.
Our firm handles situations in which individuals are charged with driving under the influence. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our Ogden DUI defense page.