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California highway patrolman arrested for DUI, tests negative

Blood alcohol tests are getting positive press in an unusual case where the results of blood toxicology testing have indicated that a California Highway Patrol officer arrested for DUI was not drunk. The CHP officer was arrested in August on a DUI charge after he allegedly collided with more than one parked car. He apparently also failed a DUI test, but the nature and results were not disclosed. He pleaded not guilty recently in court.

The results from Central Valley Toxicology Lab were negative for both alcohol and drugs. Though the local chief of police has stated that such tests only account for common drugs, the decision to run more extensive tests remains in the hands of the district attorney. So far, no reports have indicated that further tests will be conducted.

The incident of allegedly hitting the parked cars happened in Arroyo Grande. The police chief has asserted that the CHP officer did cause the accident due to being impaired. Currently however, there is no proof to confirm those allegations. The defense is hopeful that the case will end positively, as the prosecution currently has no evidence to convict the CHP officer. He has been placed on administrative duty and is currently not conducting his normal duties as a public information officer.

While it is true that blood alcohol tests can be incorrect due to issues such as errors and tampering, this case documents an unusual instance where the test actually helped to confirm the CHP officer's claim of innocence. Like anyone in California charged with a crime, DUI or otherwise, he is deemed innocent unless and until proven otherwise, which has not happened. This officer exercised his rights and sought a defense against the allegations, which can benefit anyone accused of a crime. No one should face charges alone when the right support system can help shoulder the task at hand and potentially lead to a more promising outcome.

Source: ksby.com, "UPDATE: After DUI arrest, CHP Officer's toxicology results are negative," Kathy Kuretich, Sept. 6, 2012

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