In Newport Beach, California, it is reported that a law enforcement officer made an unlawful DUI stop. According to reports, a woman was arrested for driving under the influence after a police officer cited a broken license plate light as the reason for the traffic stop. However, a video from the patrol car "clearly demonstrated" that the light was, in fact, working.
54 year old Dana M. Power was stopped by the officer and then arrested for drunk driving. However, it has been proven that her arrest was not lawful so her charges were dropped and her driver's license was reinstated by the state's Department of Motor Vehicles.
The city also wagered to pay $1,670 for her attorney's fees as well as towing costs as the officer did not have "reasonable cause" to make a DUI stop.
According to Power, she had dropped a friend off in a popular nightlife area on May 30, 2009 when she was stopped by the officer. In the police report, the officer stated, "I observed the vehicle ... did not have a functioning license plate light. ... I activated my vehicle's overhead red and blue lights ... to conduct a traffic stop on the driver of the vehicle for the violation." The officer also wrote, "While speaking with (Power), I smelled a moderate odor of an alcohol beverage emitting from her breath and person. I also noticed her eyes were bloodshot."
After stopping Power, the officer asked her to consent to a breath alcohol test and her result was .12%, above the state's legal limit of 0.08%. Power was then placed under arrest for driving under the influence even though the video from the patrol car showed the license plate light was working and lit.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Orange County and you have reason to believe your arrest was unlawful, now is the time to speak with an Orange County DUI lawyer at the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry. Contact our firm today!