Do you feel you were pulled over for DUI for no reason whatsoever? It’s possible that is the case, at least in Illinois, where lawsuits and internal investigations are looking widespread charges of false DUI arrests.
According to Chicago’s ABC7 news site, around 40 lawsuits were filed against Richard Fiorito for alleged false DUI charges. They claimed that he targeted the gay and lesbian community after they left from gay bars.
The lawsuits also claim that Fiorito stopped drivers for “bogus” traffic violations. The plaintiffs say he then made up false reports claiming they were intoxicated.
But recently the charges against Fiorito were dropped by Cook County’s State Attorney Anita Alvarez. She said there was not enough evidence to convict him, even with the surveillance video.
The surveillance video was put in Fiorito’s police car in March 2009 because he had several complaints about him making false arrests.
According to the lawsuits, these videos contradicted Fiorito’s arrest reports. Alvarez still said it was not enough evidence to present a case against the police officer.
The plaintiffs disagreed and claimed that the video tape proves the officer made false DUI reports.
A spokeswoman for the state attorney claimed Alvarez dropped the charges because the allegations were inconsistent and most of the drivers refused to give bloods samples to determine their BAC.
Alvarez’s chief of staff said that “based upon that investigation, it was determined that there were a number of inconsistencies. And it was ultimately determined we wouldn’t be able to meet our burden which in a criminal case is beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Since the investigation, Fiorito no longer patrols the streets but works behind a desk. He will continue to do so until Internal Affairs completes their investigation. Also, Fiorito will no longer be a witness in DUI cases.
But Fiorito was not the first Chicago police officer to be accused of making false DUI arrests. Two officers were previously accused of the same offense. One officer even retired early instead of face criminal charges and an investigation for allegedly making these false claims.