WTF, California? Dude Charged With Driving On Drugs Only Had Coffee In His System
The People’s Republic of Drugafornia may have gone too far in charging Joseph Schwab with a DUI (driving under the influence of drugs) back in 2015, according to his lawyer, Stacey Barrett.
The arrest came back in 2015 when the defendant, Joseph Schwab, was pulled over by an unmarked vehicle and eventually slapped with a DUI for allegedly driving under the influence of drugs. He was given a breathalyzer which came back at 0.00% BAC, and when he was booked into the county jail his blood was drawn for testing. Those blood tests came back negative for THC/Cannabis, opiates, cocaine, MDMA, meth, oxycodone, zolpidem, benzodiazepines, and muscle relaxants. As if that wasn’t enough the blood sample underwent a second round of testing and all that was found in his blood was caffeine.
So why’s this dude still being charged with a DUI when they blew 0.00% on the breathalyzer and NO DRUGS WHATSOEVER were found in his blood after several rounds of testing? Well, it seems like nobody really has the answer to this.
via The Guardian:
Barrett has filed a motion for the case to be dismissed because the charges were not brought until June 2016 – nearly 10 months after incident. If that motion is denied, Schwab will take his case to a jury on 11 January.
Sharon Henry, chief deputy district attorney for Solano County, said in a statement that her office was “conducting further investigation in this matter”.
“The charge of driving under the influence is not based upon the presence of caffeine in his system,” she added.
Barrett counters that if the prosecution has evidence of a different drug in her client’s system, it should have to provided that to her, based on the rules governing criminal procedings.
“I have not been provided with any evidence to support a theory of prosecution for a substance other than caffeine at this time,” she said. “Nor I have received any statements, reports, etc documenting any ongoing investigation since the [toxicology report] dated 18 November 2015.”
“It’s really stupid,” said Jeffrey Zehnder, a forensic toxicologist who frequently testifies in court cases. Over 41 years, Zehnder said, he had never seen a prosecution for driving under the influence of caffeine.
This sounds like some Grade-A fuckery too me. Some agent from the California department of alcoholic beverage control pulled this man over and they’re now refusing to admit they made a serious mistake, one that’s cost this man both a great deal of time and money. The breathalyzer came back negative, the toxicology report was tested TWICE and came back negative. So what the fuck is California doing still charging this man with a DUI?!?
‘Driving erratically’ is dangerous to everyone on the road, nobody is debating this. But the state of California is charging this completely sober man who only had coffee in his system with a felony DUI, and that’s fucked up.