​Sober Man Wrongfully Charged With DUI

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June 11, 2013
Also: Arizona, DUI, Jessie Thornton, Man, Sober, Sober Man DUI

A sober man receives a DUI charge from Arizona police. Retired firefighter Jessie Thornton was stopped by police, and arrested for driving under the influence.

The 64-year-old works out, and runs his errands at night in order to stay on the same schedule as his wife, who is an ER nurse.

His late hours often draw a lot of attention from local police. “I’ve been stopped 10 times in Surprise and given four tickets, it’s amazing,” said Thornton.

“He (the officer) walked up, and he said ‘I can tell you’re driving DUI by looking in your eyes,’” said Thornton. Even after he explained that his eyes were bloodshot from swimming laps at LA Fitness, the officer conducted a field sobriety test, cuffed him and took him to the station.

When he got to the police station, he blew a 0.000 on the breathalyzer test. Then a drug recognition expert was brought in to examine the sober man. Thornton says the expert said, “I would never have arrested you, you show no signs of impairment.”

“This is a case of D-W-B, driving while black,” said Thornton’s attorney Marc Victor. Victor’s office has filed a notice of claim against the City of Surprise seeking $500,000.

Thornton’s car was impounded, and the MVD was notified of his DUI charge before he was released.

“I then get this message that my license is being suspended, and I have to take some sort of drinking class or something,” said Thornton.

“I’m already out more than $5,000, that’s $5,000 that I don’t have,” said Thornton.