The criminal justice system takes intoxicated driving very seriously. This is understandable, as drunk driving can put the public’s safety at risk. People need to be able to trust that when someone is charged with a DUI that it is necessary and in the best interest of the public. However, one Maryland State Police trooper recently called all of that into question after it was discovered that he made up six DUI arrests on his record.
The state Attorney General’s office says that the officer in question was part of a task force targeting drunk drivers. He had been on the force for a decade and part of the special DUI unit for about six years. Authorities say that he fabricated six different arrests that supposedly happened in 2018 and 2019. The officer allegedly made up names and addresses of drivers that he’d stopped though no traffic stop occurred.
Four of these cases resulted in arrest warrants for people who didn’t exist, because no one showed up for allotted court dates. Other officers even went to the listed addresses in an attempt to serve warrants for three of the cases. The accused officer pleaded guilty and was sentenced to jail, probation and a fine for his actions. His jail sentence was suspended.
The public needs to be able to trust that drunk driving arrests are legitimate. This case likely damaged that trust and may even call into question other drunk driving arrests here in Maryland that involve actual people. Those who have been charged with a DUI may want to work with an attorney who can examine the arrest from all possible angles to determine potential defense options.