Utah Highway Patrol officer Lisa Steed has been terminated after allegedly arresting at least 40 people on fraudulent drug or DUI/DWI charges. Steed had previously been lauded for her history with the force. After bringing in over 200 DUI arrests in 2007; Steed received the “Trooper of the Year” award.
Nearly all of the arrests in which Steed was involved have been called into question. Keep in mind – these are legal decisions that have likely come at considerable expense to the alleged “offenders” who were on the receiving end of Steed’s egregious conduct. One man in particular was allegedly arrested by Steed on DUI charges although no alcohol was detected in his system. Even worse, after Steed arrested the man, she apparently proceeded to drop his wife off at a local fast-food restaurant with no means of communication or transportation to help her get home safely. Steed’s mishandling of the situation reportedly left the man with roughly $3,000 in impound fees in order to retrieve his vehicle, and his wife stranded without a reliable method of returning home.
Dashcam video captured much of Steed’s activities, including one instance in which a woman apparently performs almost flawlessly on the field sobriety tests administered by Steed, yet is still arrested for DUI. The civilian was said to be released thanks to a clean blood test, and intends to file a lawsuit against Steed for the incident.
Steed also has a history of not following proper protocol for DUI checks in the past. Earlier this year, she admitted that she deliberately removed her microphone to keep an unauthorized action off of the audio record of the arrest. Fortunately for recent “offenders”, Steed’s arrest history will likely lead to the reversal of some convictions.
Despite the overwhelming evidence demeaning Steed’s credibility, her attorney insists that her trustworthiness as an officer has not been compromised. Surely, the sober man who was allegedly stun-gunned by Steed in 2009 (an event that was also captured by dashcam) would disagree. If Steed’s misconduct isn’t enough to jeopardize her reputation, and even if these cases could be attributed to accidents or general misunderstandings, much of the responsibility for this unfortunate situation lies with her superiors. DUI-related charges are serious allegations that carry serious consequences, and it is very disconcerting to know that there are law enforcement officers who find it necessary to stack the deck against drivers regardless of whether they have consumed an intoxicant!
In light of recent drunk driving charges against officials, what do you think the news about Lisa Steed’s behavior communicates about DUI/DWI law enforcement?
The article can be seen here