A Labrand man says a Fort Collins police officer accidentally arrested him for drunk driving in April when he was calm.
Derrick Groves, 36, drove from his friend’s house in Fort Collins to Labrand’s house around 9:30 pm on April 7, a steep south of the intersection of the Tafthill and Trilby roads. I drove down the embankment. He arrests his affidavit in the case.
“Gloves was bleeding, had glassy eyes, and his pupils appeared to be of different sizes,” Jason Haferman, an arrested police officer, said in an affidavit. wrote. Heiferman said he was pointing in the wrong direction when asked where Mr. Groves came from.
Groves refused to take drugs or alcohol before driving. In an interview, Gloves lawyer Matthew Harzmann said he was driving Tesla with autosteer activated and one hand was removed from the wheel when looking down at the cell phone, causing the car to be overcorrected and grooved. Said it was put in. With the Colorado people.
“It was an overcorrection, that’s it,” Hartzman said. “… the moment Jason Harferman came to the scene, it was a drunk driving investigation.”
According to the arrest document, Groves participated in the eye part of the roadside test, claiming that Harferman did not complete them like a sober man. Groves was arrested and agreed to a blood test.
Two months later, the results confirmed what Groves had repeatedly told Harferman on the night of his arrest. He was calm. No drugs or alcohol were found in his bloodstream.
According to court documents, the district attorney’s office dismissed the accusation of drunk driving on June 14, in this case. Gloves is still faced with the charge of inadvertent driving traffic violations.
“He was very traumatized by this,” Harzmann said of Gloves. “I think the real weight he’s about to carry is that he’ll live with him for the rest of his life.”
According to Harzmann, Mr. Groves intends to sue Fort Collins police and Mr. Haferman for illegally arresting him for drunk driving, and there is no evidence that Mr. Gloves was affected that night, Mr. Haferman. Claims to have a history of decorating the facts at the time of the arrest of drunk driving.
According to Harzmann, the proceedings have not yet been filed because they are still collecting information. As he became aware of the Groves case, Harzmann said several other similar cases, including Harferman, had come to light.
Both the 8th District Attorney’s Office and Fort Collins Police Service say they are investigating other cases in which Harferman’s credibility has been questioned.
According to a Fort Collins police social media post, police identified nine other cases involving Harferman in a blood test that returned in the absence of alcohol or drugs in the suspect’s blood. Five of these cases were associated with injuries and property damage, police said.
Fort Collins police officers arrested 504 drunk drivers in 2021. Eleven of them (2.2%) returned blood test results without finding any drugs or alcohol, spokesman Kate Kimble said. Haferman was involved in 191 DUI arrests last year, either as a major arrester or to assist in the investigation of DUI.
Of the 11 Fort Collins police cases in which blood tests returned without alcohol or drugs detected, Harferman was involved in eight, Kimble said.
“This isn’t the first case, and if Haferman is allowed to continue, it’s probably not the last case,” Haltzman said, adding that the Groves case is part of a “worrisome pattern.” rice field.
The 8th District Attorney’s Office said in a statement that it is considering some recent cases of drunk driving involving Haferman when blood tests do not detect alcohol or drugs.
In another March decision by Judge Sarah Cure in a drunk driving case, Cure said “his testimony is inconsistent” and “not supported by evidence,” so Harferman said “reliability.” It lacks. “
This ruling did not meet the criteria for issuing Brady Notices, which is necessary if law enforcement officers have a continuous record of deliberately lying in a public position, but a spokesperson. Jody Lacy, a lawyer for the discovery of Cure, shared in a statement that the District Attorney’s Office had notified everything.
“We also noticed some recent incidents in which Haferman was the chief officer, whose toxicology results did not support the allegations of drunk driving, and began an immediate review of those incidents,” the statement said. rice field.
Fort Collins police services became aware of these incidents, and Kimble confirmed that an internal investigation was underway.
In a video statement posted on the ministry’s Facebook page, Prime Minister Jeff Swoboda said, “We examined all of these cases (if the blood test returned negative for drugs and alcohol). , Make sure it’s working properly. ” June 15th.
The District Attorney’s Office said Harferman’s behavior must be improved in order for their office to continue prosecution if Harferman was involved.
“Unnecessary arrests are simply unacceptable,” the district attorney said in a statement. “The District Attorney’s Office will scrutinize all cases involving Officer Harferman and check his investigation. These cases do not appear to reflect FCPS as a whole, but are specific. I have communicated disappointment to FCPS about the incident. Here, some arrests may have been unjustified and there are concerns about the impact on the community. “
DUI test challenges
Both the district attorney and the Fort Collins police said that even if the blood test returned negative, someone could have been under the influence of some substance.
Blood tests performed in the case of drunk driving are analyzed by the Colorado Research BureauHowever, the test does not screen for all obstacles, police say. This test, which screens 14 categories of common drugs, cannot, for example, screen fast-metabolizing aerosol inhalers. According to police, some synthetic street drugs may not appear in these tests either.
Neither over-the-counter drugs nor prescription drugs are detected by basic blood tests, Swoboda said in a video statement shared on social media.
Police have posted a social media post with more detailed drug and alcohol screening in the most serious suspected drunk driving cases (such as investigating vehicle runaway and vehicle murder), but this special test States that it is too expensive to do in all drunk driving surveys. Police say these tests cost $ 400 to $ 700 each, up to $ 250,000 a year, depending on the number of medicines tested in each case.
Police say it can take weeks or months for CBI blood test results to come back.
No breath or blood tests will be done until someone is arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. That is, police officers need to identify possible causes of arrests related to drunk driving before conducting these tests. Fort Collins police say that if a driver chooses to participate because it is a voluntary test, someone has a disability based on driving behavior, physical signs of disability, and completion of the field drinking test. He said police were trained to identify other signs.
Swoboda said in a video statement that a blood test suspected of drunk driving returning negative to drugs or alcohol does not mean that it was “bad police.”
“Our executives routinely interact with people who are taking drugs and who are misusing drugs that aren’t listed in those panels,” Swoboda said.
The district attorney dismisses the indictment because it is unlikely that the case will lead to a conviction if the blood test is not positive, even though it may be under the influence of a substance that someone cannot detect. Stated. The statement read that dismissing unproven charges is also important for the protection of innocent individuals.
Kimble said that if a blood test returns negative, some substances may not be screened for the test and may be convicted of drunk driving or poor driving ability.
But Harzmann said the problem wasn’t testing, and the department had to be accountable.
“The first thing they do is blame the test,” Hartzman said. “… it’s not the accountability promised in this community.”
All suspects are acquitted until they are found guilty in court. Arrests and prosecutions are merely accusations by law enforcement agencies until the suspect is convicted of a crime, and otherwise. All individuals accused of fraud will be considered innocent until the internal investigation is completed.
Sady Swanson covers public security, criminal justice, and Larimer County Government throughout northern Colorado. Ideas for her story can be sent to her at [email protected] or @sadyswan on Twitter. Support her work and the work of other Colorado journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.
This article was originally published in Fort Collins Colorado: Fort Collins police officer accused of false arrest of drunk driving