12/3/2007Florida: Roadblock Nabs Sober Man for DUI
A sober Florida motorist is arrested twice for DUI despite blowing 0.00 on the breathalyzer.
A man caught in a Florida Highway Patrol roadblock faced prosecution for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) despite evidence he was perfectly sober. Port Richey motorist Joseph Errichiello was minding his own business when he was stopped and interrogated by state troopers on September 1. Errichiello does not drink alcohol, but he has a learning disability that officers at the scene could not distinguish from intoxication. The officers confirmed their mistaken hypothesis when Errichiello failed a field sobriety test.
"I did nothing wrong and I got arrested for it," Errichiello told WTSP-TV.
Errichiello showed in an interview with WTSP that his lack of coordination prevented him from passing the field test, despite being sober. Errichiello has more than just his word on his side. He willingly submitted to every chemical test that police offered. The breathalyzer test reading came back 0.00, as did a urinalysis that also checked for drugs. On September 13, a Pasco County Sheriff's deputy arrested him for drunk driving a second time. Testing showed, again, that Errichiello had no alcohol or drugs in his system. The state attorney's office has not formally dropped the original charges against Errichiello, although it may do so once the urinalysis paperwork is submitted.
California defense attorney Lawrence Taylor slammed the Florida prosecutors in a post on DUI blog.
"I guess Joseph doesn't understand that there are some things more important than justice," Taylor wrote. "So how important is evidence if a cop has decided to arrest a citizen for drunk driving? How important if it shows innocence? And how important is evidence to a prosecutor... or is justifying a bad DUI arrest more important?"