This is a letter of warning to parents of yet another danger their driving-age children face on our highways.
My daughter was stopped by a highway patrol officer at a roadblock while coming home late after work.
He asked for her license but she could not find it although she had it somewhere in the car.
He told her to get out of the car and then began to search it.
He found her prescription medicine that she had gotten from the dentist for her wisdom teeth that will have to be cut out.
Her mother had put a few infection pills and pain pills in a different package so they would be easier to carry to college and to work.
The officer then proceeded to handcuff my daughter and take her to jail. Her car was impounded and towed in.
She called me, told me what had happened, and asked me to bring the prescription bottles there for her so she could prove that she had gotten them from the dentist.
When I arrived twenty minutes later with the bottles, I was told that she had already been charged with driving without a license and driving under the influence.
I was also told that I could not see her and that she had to stay there, locked up in a cell for eight hours.
I tried to explain about the medicines and showed the officer the bottles. He replied that they had her give them a urine sample and that it would be up to a judge to decide if she was guilty or not.
I then asked the jailer if I could have a blood sample done so that we could prove that she was not under the influence, and he said that I could if I paid for it. I told him that I would and wanted to have it done, but when he asked the highway patrol officers, they said “No, we’ve done all we’re going to do. If you want her to have a blood test, get someone to come here.”
I knew that was almost impossible but went to the hospital to see if I could. I was told that the lab technician could not do the test unless the officers agreed to take my daughter to the hospital lab.
It seems to me that the highway patrol officers went too far in not listening to my daughter or me.
She did have a valid driver’s license. When I got the car back from being impounded and her bonded out the next day, she found her license in the back seat of the car in another pair of pants that she had changed out of for work.
It would seem that the officers could have checked somehow to see if she had her license.
Instead, they made up their minds that she was guilty without even checking to see if she was telling the truth.
This does not seem to be a very good way to handle this kind of situation where the person just might be telling them the truth.
If she has done nothing wrong, she has had to endure a strip search and spend a night in jail.
If law enforcement officials have kids out on the road who are stopped at a roadblock, I hope there will be a police officer that will spend the time to check their story before locking them up and telling their parents that they can’t even see them till morning.
I don’t envy them in their jobs because I know how bad it is out there, but they should not judge people as being guilty when there is a good chance the driver is telling the truth.
I have always respected the law and have tried to teach my children to do the same, but when they see this kind of stuff that some of the young officers are doing, it makes them think that all police officers are the same.
It also destroys the trust that I have tried to keep in our law enforcement people.
I’m just a father who is upset that his daughter spent a night in jail for nothing more than driving home after work.
What happens to this officer if he was wrong and he locked a 20-year-old girl up in jail all night as though she was a criminal?
Nothing. He just says he had probable cause, and he has nothing to worry about.
P.S. We found out later that nowadays urine specimens sent to the crime lab cannot be analyzed for the amount of substance but only for the name of the substance found in the urine.
Lack of funds prevents the analysis that could determine the amount or the medicine taken.