If you are arrested by the police for a suspected DUI, you may be hoping that a chemical breath test at the police station will clear everything up. You may have had a couple of drinks, but are sure that you aren't over the limit. However, when a chemical test at the police station shows you are over the limit, something doesn't seem quite right. In one police department, a lying corrections officer may have been behind hundreds of over-the-limit breath tests.
Hundreds of DUI cases may end up being dropped after a corrections officer was caught lying under oath. In Louisville, Kentucky, Officer Liliana Hernandez admitted to lying under oath on more than one occasion. She has been terminated from her position while the prosecutor's office figures out what to do will all the pending DUI cases.
It was a DUI defense attorney who first brought the issue to light. After reviewing video footage from inside the chemical testing lab, Paul Gold sent a letter to Mark Bolton, the director of Louisville Metro Corrections. The letter stated Gold's concern with how Hernandez was conducting breath testing analysis. Bolton was asked to consider investigating Hernandez, and any possible violations of policies and procedures.
Gold identified two primary violations from the camera footage. Hernandez was not giving suspects the proper implied consent warnings prior to chemical testing. Additionally, Hernandez was failing to properly observe the individuals for the full 20-minute period before a breath test. Gold also pointed out that Hernandez failed to even show up as a witness in two DUI cases.
Bolton suspended Hernandez from working in the breath test analysis lab. However, when she appeared as a witness in a DUI trial, she said under oath that she was currently a breath test analysis operator. When the lawyer pushed her on this, she admitted to lying. When the lawyer asked about why the video footage was inconsistent with her report, she again admitted to lying.
In a press release, Director Bolton said he was disgusted by what the court records revealed. “If these allegations are true, this officer has done tremendous damage to her reputation and ruined her career with Metro Corrections.”
There are policies in place for how the police are supposed to conduct chemical tests to ensure that the chemical testing is accurate. When those policies aren't followed, it could put your future at risk, and violate your rights. It may be hard for most people to know when the police are not following the proper procedures. An experienced DUI lawyer knows what to look for in a DUI case, and how to expose the officers when they don't follow the rules.
At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her professional legal career to defending people facing a DUI in the East Bay. With more than 30 years of experience, Lynn Gorelick understands how a DUI conviction can affect your future, and how to fight to keep that conviction off your record. If you are facing a felony or misdemeanor DUI charge, contact the local East Bay DUI defense attorney who understands that you do not have to plead guilty just because you were arrested.