Motorists Say Cops Wrongfully Arrested Them for DUIs When They Were Sober

Some motorists in Florida and Colorado say cops arrested them on suspicion of impaired driving, even though they were sober. In one case, a man was kept in custody for a blood test even after a breathalyzer test came back negative for alcohol consumption.

A Florida man is suing the Brevard County Sheriff’s Department after being arrested on suspicion of driving impaired, even though he says he hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol.

“There was absolutely no reason for this to happen to me,” Jon Schoonmaker told Inside Edition.

After the arrest, Schoonmaker took a urine test, which revealed what he knew to be a fact — he was stone cold sober.

And he’s not alone. 

A similar incident happened to 50-year-old Harris Elias in Loveland, Colorado. While driving one night, Elias was pulled over for allegedly failing to signal, and suddenly found himself in a nightmare situation.

“Obviously, I can smell an overwhelming odor of alcohol — don't fall over there — coming from your vehicle,” the responding officer told Elias.

Elias was perplexed. Like Schoonmaker, he says he hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol, and was shocked when the officer arrested him. 

Back at the station, Elias took a breathalyzer test, which showed no evidence of alcoholic consumption. But instead of being released, he remained in police custody.

“I understand you blew triple zeros, so that leads me to believe that there's something else going on,” the officer told him.

Elias says, “I was dealing with an officer who was absolutely, in my mind, untrustworthy.” 

A blood test taken that night later confirmed that there was no booze in Elias’ system.

In a lawsuit, Elias says the police officer in question has allegedly arrested at least four other motorists for DUIs, who later proved to be sober.

“There appears to be zero consequence for destroying somebody's life, an innocent citizen's life, with a bad arrest,” attorney Sarah Schielke said.

Inside Edition spoke to Loveland Police Chief Robert Ticer.

“I believe that when this officer or any officer in this department makes an arrest, it’s based on solid probable cause,” Ticer said.

Charges against both the men we spoke with were dropped.

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Department denies Schoonmaker was wrongfully arrested. 

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