Monday, October 20, 2014

DUI / Driving Under the Influence / Police Discretion / Not Arrested / Cop Called Employer / Civil Rights / Civil Rights Violation / AVVO / Michael A. Haber, Esq. **ARRESTED / **305DUI

Q:    Have my civil rights been violated?  In a random traffic stop, I was given a PBT and my BAC was below the legal limit so no DUI charge was given. The trooper later told my employer I had traces of alcohol on my breath resulting in termination of employment. Does this violate my right to privacy since no DUI was given?

Michael Adam Haber


Contributor Level 20

Before I say anything further, I must give you 2 disclaimers: 1) I not an AR lawyer and therefore cannot comment on matters of AR law or procedure, and 2) I am not a civil rights lawyer so I am speculating, albeit with some basis in experience.

Law enforcement has every right to detain you if they have reasonable suspicion or probable cause that you committed, were about to commit or were committing a law violation, so your stop was legal. They cops also generally enjoy the right to arrest, cite, warn or let you go sans censure. In this case it seems that you were cut a break on the roadside and then subsequently violated.

I know of no (again, I am not licensed in AR) law or rule or procedure which authorizes cops to act beyond the scope of their duty - in this case letting you leave the scene of the stop without being charged with an offense and then proceeding to call your employer. That seems to me to be beyond the scope, but then again I am not a civil rights lawyer.

I know for sure that there are threshold requirements for civil rights violations (don't ask me what they are... I believe its a 5-step Q&A which basically determines the viability of a lawsuit) and if you meet them then you may well have an actionable case. Your being fired likely caused you actual, if not potential, damages... but the question remains whether or not your case would survive a directed verdict.

I suggest that you repost this question and instead of choosing "DUI' as a practice area instead you list it under "civil rights" or "police liability" or something along those lines. In my opinion you should be asking your question of a civil rights, not a DUI / criminal defense lawyer.

I hope that I have been helpful in answering your question.
First, second and third: No attorney-client relationship exists by virtue of any Q&A with Michael A. Haber, Esq. on Avvo. Fourth: Anything that you post on Avvo (or on similar sites) or on any social media is by its nature public. It is essentially an admission / confession and can be introduced into evidence as a statement against your interest in a subsequent legal proceeding. Once posted you lose any reasonable expectation of privacy, so, as this is an open forum (with no privilege attached), please be extra careful when considering what to post online (forewarned is forearmed.)

For more than 23 years Michael A. Haber, P.A. has been providing creative, effective and zealous advocacy and counsel in cases ranging from DUI to drug trafficking and from misdemeanors to first degree murder.  

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