Readers probably recall our discussion of the former Utah Highway Patrol officer who was caught lying about the circumstances of her DUI arrests. We last wrote about the case on Nov. 15, at which time UHP was expected to fire her from the force for exaggerating about the intoxication level of those she arrested, perjury and other examples of misconduct.
The trooper has since been officially fired from UHP, a decision she is appealing. But despite serious questions raised by a UHP report about the trooper’s honesty in her arrest reports and on the witness stand, some prosecutors in Salt Lake City are continuing to try to use her as a witness in DUI cases. In fact, she was in court on Dec. 17, prepared to testify against a defendant she had arrested before the defendant’s attorneys objected.
The defense attorney said that the amount of drugs in her client’s system was too low to affect his ability to drive or justify a DUI arrest. She added that the former trooper is too unreliable to believe her accounts of any DUI case. As we have previously discussed, an internal investigation produced a memo in 2010 that raised serious questions about the trooper’s claims about her DUI arrests, including whether many of them were intoxicated at all.
That memo was kept under wraps until local media revealed its existence in October. Defense attorneys in this DUI case asked the judge to dismiss the charges because prosecutors failed to turn over the memo. While the judge did not rule on the motion to dismiss, trial was delayed so lawyers on both sides could determine whether other documents regarding the ex-trooper’s record exist.
Whether the ex-trooper will testify in trial, now scheduled for February, is yet to be determined. Other DUI cases triggered by her most recent DUI arrests will likely be affected by this case’s findings.
Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, “Embattled Utah trooper appears in court as a witness,” Nate Carlisle, Dec. 17, 2012