A class action lawsuit filed in Utah court claims that a recently fired Utah Highway Patrol Trooper, who was once named Utah Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year, falsely arrested hundreds of drivers for DUI and marijuana impairment.
Utah Highway Patrol Corporal Lisa Steed, who was fired in November, had previously been lauded by superiors for her high number of arrests, including being named Trooper of the Year in 2007. But documents relating to the lawsuit filed in Utah’s Third District Judicial Court claim that many of these arrests, possibly hundreds, were based on falsely reported results of field sobriety tests.
One of the attorneys who filed the suit, Michael Studebaker, told the New York Times “The 40 or so individuals that have contacted us have to be the tip of the iceberg because Steed arrested many other people. Her actions are so blatant, that it is probable that she acted like this in an untold number of cases.”
An internal memo from 2010 written by a Highway Patrol Sergeant reported that a review of 20 of Ms. Steed’s marijuana impairment arrests showed that she arresting drivers who showed no visible signs of impairment. And both Salt Lake County and Davis County’s District Attorneys began as early as last April to dismiss or choose not to prosecute cases in which Ms. Steed was the primary investigator.