Charges against a man who was arrested for a DUI in August of 2015 have finally been dropped. The former defendant, Joseph Schwab, submitted to a chemical blood test at the time of his arrest, which only tested positive for caffeine. The Solano County District Attorney's Office, however, pursued the DUI charge for 16 months before it was finally dropped this December.
Schwab was pulled over last August when an Alcohol Beverage Control agent spotted him in traffic. She says he was “weaving in and out of traffic, almost causing several collisions." She pulled him over and administered several field sobriety tests. She found many legal workout supplement powders in Schwab's car, but no drugs or alcohol.
The agent then took him into the police station to give him a blood test, which came back negative for cocaine, THC, methamphetamine, oxycodone, and other drugs. The only drug it tested positive for was caffeine.
District Attorney Khrisna Abrams defended the Alcohol Beverage Control agent's decision, even though there was no proof of intoxication, and said that “The driver seemed very amped up, very agitated, very combative, and she thought he was under the influence of something.”
Abrams then added that she wished the drug screening could test for more drugs, such as steroids, synthetic cannabinoids, and designer drugs: “Do we wish that it could test for more drugs?” Abrams asked. “Absolutely, because then we would know what was in his system.”
A forensic toxicologist told Fox 6 that no evidence supports the idea that caffeine might interfere with a person's ability to drive. He noted the widespread use of caffeine on a daily basis for many people, and said that “Very few, if any, of those people are having problems functioning in a task like driving.” In fact, he added, “Most are probably doing it as well, and potentially even better than they would do without it.”
Schwab's attorney says she is shocked that the DUI charge stuck without the support of a blood test. She told CNN affiliate KCRA, "I actually consulted with the other attorneys in my office to make sure that I wasn't missing something." Schwab himself told reporters, “I was confident the whole time, I was telling them, I'm not on anything.” He says that it has been difficult for him during the past year because he seems undependable, and people do not always believe him.
After the dismissal of the DUI, Schwab's attorney released a statement in which she said, “Mr. Schwab and I are relieved that the driving under the influence charge is being dismissed for lack of sufficient evidence.” Although the charge has been dropped, Schwab will still be charged with a misdemeanor for reckless driving.
Knowing how the prosecution system works can help an attorney successfully defend a DUI charge or convince the courts to drop the charge altogether. Seattle attorney Steve Karimi worked extensively in the King County Prosecutors office before turning to focus on criminal defense, and will work to achieve the best possible outcome for his clients. To schedule a free consultation, call today at (206) 661-8777 or contact him online.
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