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Sober woman injured in accident accused of drunk driving

There are a lot of people in the United States that frown upon others who argue against drunk driving charges in court. These people usually believe that the person is only arguing against the charges to get away with a crime. But in some cases this isn’t it at all. There are times when a person’s rights have been violated or evidence was fabricated to make it look like the person committed a crime when in fact they have not. These cases are perhaps the most troubling but important to point out because they highlight the problems in our criminal justice system that are often difficult to navigate without legal help.

Our California readers can see this exemplified by a case out of Wisconsin where a 25-year-old woman was arrested for drunk driving after a serious crash with a police vehicle in February 2013. According to reports, the woman was seriously injured in the crash, suffering a broken neck. Video would later show that the officer ran a stop sign and T-boned the woman, meaning he was the at-fault driver. But almost immediately after the crash, the officer arrested her for drunk driving. His accusations were backed by statements from fellow officers who claimed to have smelled a slight odor of alcohol on her breath.

Because of the woman’s injuries, she was unable to take a Breathalyzer or field sobriety test after the crash. It’s because of this that prosecutors might have pushed forward with charges of drunk driving. But blood tests came back clean less than a month later. Five months after that, drugs tests further confirmed her sobriety. Despite the lack of evidence, the charges persisted for another five more months until prosecutors looked at the case and “declined to file charges.”

Though charges were not filed, this does not mean that the woman didn’t suffer from this ordeal. False accusations and the threat of criminal charges can be incredibly stressful. But to have them persist even after evidence proves innocence, can add insult to injury. It’s because of this that the woman in this case may take legal action of her own as a way to remedy the injustice done against her.

Source: The Washington Post, “But for video: Wisconsin deputy badly injures woman in crash, attempts to blame victim,” Radley Balko, May 5, 2014

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