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Athlete sues police after false DUI arrest ruins baseball hopes

As New Jersey readers are probably aware, a DUI arrest can have a significant impact on a person's life. A conviction for drunken driving can result in steep fines, mandatory participation in a treatment program, and jail time, depending on the circumstances.

A recent lawsuit over a 2009 drunken driving arrest addresses other, more long term effects of this type of arrest. The 26-year-old who filed the lawsuit was suspended from the university baseball team he played on at the time of the arrest. He argues that the arrest caused him to fall in the Major League Baseball draft and may have prevented him from reaching his career goals.

According to the arrest report, the man's vehicle crossed the double yellow line into oncoming traffic, which forced another vehicle to veer into oncoming traffic to avoid a collision. The arresting officers who arrived on the scene claimed that the defendant in the DUI arrest was slurring his words and needed to balance himself on his car door to get out of the vehicle.

The man filing the suit against the police department claims that the arresting officers fabricated information to increase their number of DUI arrests. Charges against him were dropped in 2009, after video footage in the police-car failed to substantiate any of the allegations against the man. However, it was too late to salvage his baseball career. The man is seeking $75,000 in damages. The case is a good reminder that cameras in squad cars don't lie, but police officers might.

Source: The Gainesville Sun, "Former UF baseball player sues GPD over 2009 arrest," Christopher Curry, June 19, 2012

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