• Dec 17th 2012 at 3:58PM
  • 496

State troopers put their lives on the line every day. And the act of pulling someone over on a highway can be a deadly experience for any cop not following the best protocols. But police are also under great pressure to generate ticket revenue for their cities, counties and states, and their zeal to hit revenue targets can lead them to do the wrong thing.

So says a class action suit filed against the State of Utah and a specific state trooper who is accused of writing "driving under the influence" tickets when they weren't impaired.

State trooper Lisa Steed was honored inside the state police force for busting an extraordinary number of drunk drivers. But some of her convictions were subsequently over-turned, and the trooper was reprimanded and then fired for making false arrests.

Since Steed's performance and punishment were reported, dozens of people who were convicted have been signing up with lawyers for a class action suit. People convicted of DUI lost money, cars and trailers and even jobs, according to ABC 4 News/Salt Lake City.

One such plaintiff is Thomas Romero who was arrested by Steed in 2011. "I wasn't drunk ... I was not intoxicated. Nothing," Romero told ABC 4.

One of the representing attorneys, Robert Sykes, says he is looking at hundreds of drivers who may have been victimized. Sykes is ambitiously seeking that all DUI arrests by state troopers be over-turned in cases where the trooper was the only witness.

How much could plaintiffs get? Attorneys are hoping to get Romero, for example, at least $20,000 to cover everything he lost, including his truck and his motor home. If you add up all the cases these attorneys think are out there, the lawsuit could potentially cost Steed and the Utah Highway Patrol $20 million.

Want to see what police cars may look like in 2025? Check out our Translogic episode here to give you a look into the future.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      You know, I am really tired of people who can't afford an attorney getting raked over the coals, while those with some money get off. Is this saying to the American people..there is only justice if you can afford it? Is the legal system so greedy that it no longer cares about people who want justice but can't afford it? Public Defenders are a joke...it's almost like they get a cut of the money if they find the defendant guilty..fines, interest, etc. and so the poor person has to either go to jail or sell everything they have.. We give billions in foreign aid..why not have that money go to those who cannot afford to buy justice? Our legal system, like the public school system is dead and stinkin'.
      Lu Ann
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hope they all win their lawsuits!
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is RAMPANT in this country. I have personal experienceand can atest to it all being fact. What saved me was VIDEO CAMERAS... The store where I was shopping had 9 (!) covering their parking lots and street, and I had a GPS with a memory and had been making a vacation video with one camera facing forward and one camera facing rearward... with sound. The charges were "CROSSING A FOG LINE" and "A DIRTY FRONT LICENSE PLATE" which would have been 2 points on my license. The 75 year old female Judge in this Western New York Town said "Who am I going to believe, You or my Police Officer"? (!!) Under threat of video, the "Court" (The Judge was just as guilty as the Police) offered to "Reduce it to a Parking Ticket with a hefty fine and drivers school! I said "NO!" and refused. I called the ACLU and they gave me advice. The Officer is KNOWN for accepting "Favors" and has made it to "Chief" of the three car police department. DRIVERS BEWARE !
      • 2 Years Ago
      I say Hang the Bit*H for false arrests-!!!--bout time!
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think there is something in the Bible about false witness. Follow the money trail and it will lead you to the truth.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Crooked cops.. UGH! One of many reasons why I hate them. I don't feel sorry them when I hear they've been shot, they should be.
        • 2 Years Ago
        • 2 Years Ago
        I certainly hope you never have a need for a cop. I hope so because if I were the cop, I would still have to respond and offer assistance even if you do not deserve it.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I thought they were supposed to give you a blood test once you get down to the station, to confirm the breathalyzer reading. I'm shocked that they would convict someone based on only a police officer's testimony, when it is possible for the officer to collect evidence.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Its always nice when a bitch cop can ruin your life with a fake dui. Ha, you got them good honey! Have fun in hell
      • 2 Years Ago
      And she's got the nerve to ask for her job back? The problem with our legal system is that states need money but they believe it's justified to make up the difference monetary from scofflaws. The only problem is a person is assumed guilty until proven innocent which in most traffic pullovers it's impossible to prove ones innocence. Therefore, a cop's word has to be impeccable because if not then public rapport is severely damaged and our system of justice is irreparably lost.
        • 2 Years Ago
        She'll probably get her job back too. Where I live there were like 6 male officers and 1 female officer caught on camera "Arresting" a man for disorderly conduct. The 6 had him on the ground twisting his arms and neck while the female officer kicked the man repeatedly in the ribs and head. She kicked him like 11 times and rightfully lost her job. She later appealed and was reinstated while the victim was found guilty and sent to jail. The thin blue line??? more like the legacy of shame.
      • 2 Years Ago
      What a creepy wanna-be cop...
      • 2 Years Ago
      They are all over. I experienced a similar thing a few years ago in Los Angeles while visiting my daughter. Give some guy a badge, call him a cop and the power goes to his head. The jerk in L.A. had a super partner with him and it was easy to tell that his partner was embarrassed by the jerk officer's action and attitude. This guy was a first class smart ass.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nothing better than a good cop. Nothing worse than a bad one.
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