Tulsa Man Recounts ‘Surreal’ Experience of DUI-Drug Arrest With Blood Test Later Finding No Intoxicants

Handcuffed and seated in the back of a patrol car, Adam James contemplated his perception of his own reality: Had he, in fact, unwittingly ingested a narcotic?

Of course, the answer for the 41-year-old Tulsa man was “no.” However, James was en route to a hospital for a blood draw after a Tulsa County sheriff’s deputy determined the real estate investor had failed a field sobriety test.

James, an African-American, told the Tulsa World that he passed the test — except for one part involving balance that he struggled with — but the deputy “treated me as such a criminal.” He felt unfairly profiled and victimized by the arresting deputy, who he said “misrepresented” what took place during the traffic stop in the probable cause affidavit for James’ arrest.

James’ defense attorney had the state’s blood sample forwarded for testing. Nothing was detected when the results came back nearly two months later in November.

The prosecution dropped the case four weeks later in December after the results were filed with a motion to dismiss, but James can’t escape the “surreal” feeling of being in custody overnight on Sept. 30.

“It left me feeling not an equal,” James said. “That I was not a citizen. That I don’t matter.”

Sheriff Vic Regalado said he spoke with both deputies involved in the traffic stop and examined the probable cause affidavit. Regalado said he found no issues with the arrest because the deputy saw indicators of drug intoxication.

Regalado looked into the backgrounds and records of both deputies and found no indications or patterns that either engages in racial profiling or targets certain communities or groups, he said.

“There were no red flags,” Regalado said.

The sheriff said the deputy who made the arrest is certified in enhanced field sobriety tests, meaning he has more DUI experience than the average deputy.

“That is not uncommon for that to happen,” Regalado said of James’ negative blood test results. “And the reason why is when it does happen, it could be a variety of different things. It could include those tests only test for certain intoxicants; it doesn’t test for synthetic drugs, inhalants and things like that.

“That’s not to suggest that this individual was under that; I’m just telling you that when law enforcement has had a negative test come back, there are reasons for it. And it can be sometimes from mistakes made during field sobriety testing, especially with untrained individuals.”

District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said “in no uncertain terms” that his office did not dismiss the case out of concern that the deputies acted improperly.

“We dismissed the case based upon the preliminary blood test results that came back from the laboratory testing. However, that drug screening test is not exhaustive,” Kunzweiler said. “There are many other potential substances that could be tested for, and we are evaluating whether we would like the state laboratory to conduct that further screening.”

For full story visit: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/local/not-an-equal-tulsa-man-recounts-surreal-experience-of-dui/article_339c7833-eeda-5dfe-925b-63b66bb9e4a6.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5648 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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