Utah trooper faces lawsuit for making bogus DUI arrests

By Brady Mccombs

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Feb. 22 2013 8:34 a.m. MST

Steed was taken off road patrol in April 2012 and fired in November. She was accused of violating department policies, falsifying police reports and using questionable practices when making DUI arrests.

The lawsuit is based on two defendants: Thomas Romero and Julie Tapia.

Romero was stopped after Steed said he was swerving, according to the lawsuit. After Romero said he wasn't drinking, Steed gave him a roadside sobriety test anyway. She booked him for DUI even though his blood alcohol content was 0.00. Charges were dismissed.

Tapia went to pick up her ex-husband, who had been drinking. Steed approached Tapia as she got out of her car at her house, saying Tapia had been speeding, the lawsuit said. Steed said she could smell alcohol, and Tapia told her it was coming from her ex-husband.

Tapia was arrested for a DUI; her ex-husband for public intoxication. Tapia's blood test showed no alcohol. Charges were dropped.

Choate, who hopes to join the lawsuit, said the entire agency should be held responsible for the damage Steed caused to him and others. "They let her get away with it for a long time," he said.

Follow Brady McCombs on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BradyMcCombs

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