An Arizona man was surprised to be arrested and charged with drunk driving, especially since the police knew he wasn't drunk.
Jessie Thornton, a 64-year-old retired firefighter, told ABC 15 that he was driving home late after spending a couple hours swimming at an LA Fitness pool. While en route, he was pulled over by an officer for crossing the white line who, Thornton says, suspected him of driving under the influence because his eyes were bloodshot. Amazingly, even after he tested with a BAC of 0.00 on a breathalyzer and was cleared as being sober by a drug recognition expert, he was charged with DUI, had his license suspended and his vehicle impounded.
This isn't the first time Thronton has had a run in with police on the road late at night. He says he's been pulled over 10 times and given four tickets.
Thornton says he keeps late hours so that his schedule syncs up with wife's.
"My wife, she's an ER nurse and works three 12-hour shifts, so I adjusted my schedule to be like her schedule," Thornton told ABC 15.
But Thornton says that these incidents are the result of something more sinister than targeting people who are out late. He feels he's a target because of his race. The DUI charges have been dropped, but he's now bringing a federal lawsuit against the police department of Surprise, Ariz.
"Listen, I was a firefighter and firefighters work hand in hand with police officers, I have nothing against police officers, this just wasn't right," Thornton said.
The police department was unable to comment due to pending legal action.