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Negligent trooper's job loss prompts dismissal of DUI charges

Due to the determined negligence of his duty, a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper has lost his job and nearly 100 motorists charged with drunk driving had their cases dismissed last week. About half of the individuals were charged with first offense DUI. Others faced repeat DUI charges, which would have resulted in major penalties if the individuals would have been convicted.

The former trooper was known for arresting a high number of drivers for DUI over many years, and because of the man's actions, prosecutors have dropped the charges faced by dozens of individuals. According to THP investigators, the ex-trooper intentionally drove by a serious car accident that occurred Nov. 26. The accident, which involved the vehicle consumed in flames, took the life of a man.

The trooper was fired because the act eradicated his credibility as a law enforcement officer, said an assistant district attorney general.

One of the individuals whose DUI charges have been dropped is a Georgia man who was accused of causing a car accident that involved his young child last May. According to reports, the man refused to give a blood sample after he admitted taking Xanax and failing field sobriety tests. A blood test was forced by the trooper, but the test can no longer be used as evidence because of the trooper's dismissal.

Ninety-five individuals who faced DUI charges have now had their cases dismissed, though the number of cases dropped could rise if offenders who were issued traffic tickets are thrown into the mix.

Currently, the former officer is on paid leave until his removal from the THP becomes official, but he has appealed the decision. This week, the Safety Commissioner opposed it. The ex-trooper's attorney said there will be more appeals to come.

Source: PoliceOne.com, "More than 100 cases dropped after trooper's firing," Matt Lakin, Feb. 21, 2012