The “Numbers Game”: Utah’s Trooper Of The Year Fired After Being Accused Of False DUI Arrests

abc_gma_schriffren_130104_wgState trooper Lisa Steed is the first woman to be selected as Trooper of the Year in Utah for her record of hundreds of DUI arrests. She was celebrated as having a type of sixth sense for drunk drivers that allowed her to rake up an unprecedented number of hundreds of such arrests in a year. She is now a former trooper after her arrests were found to be invalid. What is striking is how prosecutors long suspected that Steed was unreliable as a witness but she was allowed to continue to abuse citizens. Ironically, in an interview during her illustrious career, Steed referred to her work as a “numbers game,” where she assumed that one in every 10 drivers stopped for a violation is driving impaired.

Steed is trying to get her job back as various drivers are suing the state for her false arrests. One lawsuit recounts how drivers faced employment and financial ruin over their false arrests while Steed was being celebrated as a supercop. The lawsuit notes that Steed was off the charts in her raw number of arrests but the Utah Highway Patrol made no inquiry as she set a state record of 400 arrests. She made some of these arrests after drivers passed sobriety field tests.

Lt. Steve Winward simply told the press at the time that “with her training and experience, it’s second nature for her to find these people who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.” It now appears that the “second nature” was to simply arrest everyone to the applause of people like Winward.

In May 2010, a memo written by Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Rob Nixon raised Steed’s “pattern” of questionable DUI arrests. The memo noted that she relied on impressions that were unreliable and found flawed. Yet, the UHP allowed her to continue to abuse citizens. In April 2012, prosecutors admitted that they would not rely on Sneed due to her dubious arrests that often were thrown out in court. Yet, she was allowed to continue to abuse citizens.

It was not until April 2012 that Sneed was finally taken off patrol and then fired in November 2012.

The scandal shows how much of our enforcement efforts are driven by pressure to “get the numbers up” on arrests. The UHP was obviously not particularly concerned about the abuse of citizens as it was rewarding officers for maximizing arrests. Sneed is not the only officer who should be fired given this record.

Source: Fox

81 thoughts on “The “Numbers Game”: Utah’s Trooper Of The Year Fired After Being Accused Of False DUI Arrests

  1. Anyone who ever becomes a juror in the future needs to remember stories like this one. If evidence of guilt ever depends solely on cop testimony, I’m gonna acquit.

  2. At least this officer was fired for her abuses. Most departments merely look the other way. millsapian87 is correct that she should be brought up on charges for false arrests.

  3. She was fired because she arrested too many Utahans who had the money, or connections to fight the arrests. DUI charges are a tremendous stain on peoples lives and their livelihood. Many people simply do not have the funds to mount a defense. I believe that there is a pattern behind many DUI arrests in most venues that these arrests bring revenue to the locality and bring praise to the record of the individual LEO’s involved. She just “overdid” it.

  4. I’ve seen several officers like her. They write DUIs to people that other officers have stopped, get their awards for making hundreds of DUI arrests, all the while no publicity that a majority of those DUIs get dismissed because these officers are notorious for not showing up in court and when they do, the evidence is so weak that prosecutors don’t bother with a trial, they just dismiss the case. Of course, some prosecutors don’t do the right thing for various reasons; most lower court prosecutors are part-time and appointed by a mayor, perhaps a city council, who usually tacitly require the appointees to meet a quota of fines. City court judge = cop in a robe.

  5. She is going to get what she deserves hopefully. There is going to be a class action on this one I would guess, if Utah permits these.

    There are officers out there that put a lot of their time into DUI emphasis. There is no excuse to pad the report or make false arrests, just doing regular traffic work will pull in the arrests.

    From only having a bit of information from the news article, it seemed pretty glaring to me that many of her arrests were bogus. It’s almost as if she rushed through the SFST’s with the goal of making an arrest, and used any sign no matter how weak, as evidence. When she got to the station and the defendant blew .000 she probably then attributed it to drugs and left it at that.

    An officer who makes many arrests for DUI should, if honourable, have the most air tight cases due to experience and knowledge to determine who is impaired and who is not. They also should realize that making hundreds of true arrests for DUI will get undone by just one false arrest so it isn’t worth being careless.

    I’ve even had several times where I knew with certainty the person was legally intoxicated but he managed to pass enough of the SFST’s that I could not articulate PC to arrest for DUI. So, I would just tell them that and I would offer them a ride home for safety sake. None of them ever refused this and it was better for all concerned.

    I have seen other officers’s arrest reports and when they get to caught up in producing numbers they start getting careless if they don’t make an effort to evaluate the evidence and situation. One sign of this is when the breath test results are too often below the legal limit. A solid DUI officer will rarely have arrests where alcohol was the sole intoxicant and the breath reading was below the limit. Officers who frequently made arrests and the BAC level was below the limit were ones who rushed through or were wanting a particular result and over emphasized the evidence that tended to be incriminating and de-emphasized the evidence to the contrary.

    When that starts happening, the supervisor should work on this problem immediately. While it can be shown that a person who is below the legal limit can be truly impaired due to the evidence of their driving, patterns of below limit arrests show a problem with the officer.

  6. Wow. A whole bunch of CONSPIRACY THEORISTS commenting here – including spindel, who has to deny that his comment shows he’s a dreaded CT.

    It’s okay, mike. conspiracies are as common as Apple pie — whether carried out by LEO in Utah, CO, AZ, CT, 9/11, London 7/7, Bali, Mumbai, or a secretive gay cabal in the Vatican – forcing the POPE to resign. (see:

  7. Ex-Utah State trooper Lisa Steed might want to consider applying for a job with U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s office.

  8. “Wow. A whole bunch of CONSPIRACY THEORISTS commenting here – including spindel, who has to deny that his comment shows he’s a dreaded CT.”


    I do believe in certain conspiracies such as those that caused the murder of
    JFK,MLK & RFK. However, my beliefs come from extensive research and years of thought. A “conspiracy theorist” like yourself believes in almost all conspiracies as long as they conform to his pre-judgments and prejudice. It’s the difference between being rational and being bigoted.

  9. Mike, just take what bill writes and if he is labeling someone else, substitute bill’s name for the person he is accusing. Or take what he writes and assume the opposite is true. These is the best ways someone can derive truth in what he declares.

  10. Darren,

    So true. I certainly don’t view the world through the proverbial “rose colored glasses”, but sometimes someone’s paranoia about life carries them into really dark places.

  11. Lanza officially dead on the 13th, SHook event on the 14th, “charity” web sites created on the 11th,

    A school that’s been shown to be CLOSED last year from google sattelite pics…theres all kinds of indicators it being 100% hoax.
    the “dad” yukkin it up just before “getting into charachter” for his “news interview”,
    pic of a supposedly dead little girl sitting with obama, and many other tidbits.

    Mike – you go ahead and worship (believe) what you want to, and I will continue to stay far ahead of you in knowledge of gov’t sponsored hoaxes
    (Sandy Hook) and inside jobs (9/11, Okla. City and others).

    As for your little buddy darien, he’s got nothing…except insults, which prove he doesn’t even know the propaganda to rebut with. classic lightweight.

  12. “and I will continue to stay far ahead of you in knowledge of gov’t sponsored hoaxes (Sandy Hook) and inside jobs (9/11, Okla. City and others).”


    The only place where you are ahead of me is paranoia and gullibility. Gloat all you want.

  13. bill,

    It is pointless to debate you because you are incapable of advocating rational thought or weighing fact versus fantasy contrivances. So all that is left is to point out your foolishness. You are free I suppose to call this insult, but your reputation and buffoonery certainly merits what people call you.

  14. Well then Mr. Mike and ds, Explain what i have wrong above, and give your explanation. Take the points one by one. Good luck, mikey.

  15. Here’s some more about the Sandy Hook hoax that you boyz can chew on.
    if you think you can prove it wasn’t a hoax, then refute some of the evidence, inconsistencies, and questions that undermine the official fairy tale.

  16. In accordance with all the issues and strife that this officer caused everyone, she should be required to serve the maximum time of all of her false arrest and pay full restitution of all legal fees, lost wages, etc. I wonder how many instances of similar false arrests go without prosecution throughout the country each year. Something wrong with someone who decides to take up ruining lives for a living.

  17. GBK,

    Can YOU be responsive to any of the evidence and links I’ve provided, or is
    your knowledge too limited for you to say anything substantive?

  18. Bill,

    You always want people to prove you wrong.

    Argument doesn’t work that way — you have to prove your point(s). And this requires much more than a smorgasbord of perspective coupled with taunts of “prove me wrong” with every post you make.

    Pick one issue, spell it out, help the feeble minds that read this blog.

  19. This Bill character seems a bit self righteous. Indulging him will only fuel the fire. (not that I disagree AT ALL with those who have challenged his angry, ridiculous rants)

  20. Mr. Koonce,

    Here’s your chance to shine. Tell me what I’ve got wrong, and why.
    You appear to be out of your league here, but go ahead and give it a shot if
    you think you can string together a rational argument. I don’t think you can.

  21. You’re allowed to think whatever you like, but I’m smart enough to not be drawn into your circular logic and arguments based on pure anger. Let’s just save the time and agree that no matter what’s said, you’re right. I don’t have the time or energy to debate with someone so angry at the world and at those who dare to inhabit it with you. Go try to pick on someone else and thank me that I don’t make you look worse than you have already so successfully done on your own.

  22. If one judge heard more than one or two cases of slim and none evidence and let this go on without talking to the cop then the judge ought to go South too. A judge should not entertain weak cases much less false evidence.

  23. Amazing she was fired, it is almost completely impossible to fire a cop today. If Jeffrey Dahmer was on the police force, he might still be on it today, cannibal or not.

  24. Well if you do not drink and drive and do not take drugs and drive you will not fail a sobriety test.

    I don’t have any sympathy for people who drink and drive or take drugs and drive. They are just putting the lives of others in danger in this ” I don’t give a crap about anyone else” society we all live in now.

  25. GBK -The ssDi lists lanza’s death as being on `12-13-12, but the SH event took place on 12-14-12.

    How could a dead person shoot people?

  26. Don’t argue, Otteray, just explain how Lanza could have carried out a real attack one day after Gov’t records show that he was deceased. Is it your position that a Zombie carried out the alleged attack?

  27. […] detect impaired drivers when most officers would not. There was a reason for this, it turned out. Steed arrested drivers for DUI whether they were in fact drunk or not. Now her record-setting arrests are being challenged as invalid, and she is out of a […]

  28. Conspiracies? What about Apollo 18? Don’t tell me they make perfectly good lunar landers and don’t use them. Y’all probably thought that movie was entertainment instead of an expose’.

    There’s a reason we’ve never gone back to the Moon.

  29. lottakatz —

    The entire Apollo Moon Landing hoaxes hold the record for most expensive
    propaganda ploy in U.S. history – but the two events that were even more important as far radically changing our country are:
    1. The coup de’tat of 11/22/63.
    2. The 9/11/2001 false flag inside job operation.

    But the hits just keep on comin’, don’t they. Aurora, Tucson, Anthrax, Wellstone , JFK jr., Sandy Hook, and many others too numerous to list here.

  30. Sar77

    What’s your take on some of the issues mentioned above? Can YOU explain how Lanza could die on the day prior to the alleged SH incident, yet be named as the perp of it?

    Also, do you know why so many people think the Apollo Moon landings never happened? If you aren’t familiar with the subject, check out this
    guy’s work. He’s brilliant, funny, and all the NASA believers can say is that
    a paid propagandist says it was possible…even to pass thru the Van Allen radiation belts safely…despite the fact that NASA itself says that problem will have to solved before any manned flights to the Moon will be possible. We supposedly did it 40 years ago, but we can’t do it now!

  31. Bill McW
    Since I have not even seen the documents to which you refer, I have no idea what you are talking about. Furthermore, documents sometimes get the wrong date written in. I wish I had a dollar for every time I have done that in the past forty years. I could buy a new car with the money.

    My most memorable case was when the attorney doing the cross examination asked me to identify the defendant. I pointed him out. Attorney wanted to know if I was absolutely sure. I was sure. With a huge theatrical dramatic flourish, he pulled out a copy of my records, waving them around in front of the jury, where he gleefully pointed out the box for “race” was checked, “Black or Negro.” The defendant was a very white Caucasian. Stuff happens. He was convicted anyway.

    bill, you remind me very much of that attorney.

  32. Ornery,

    You could be forgiven for thinking that if the SSDI date was wrong, it woul have been corrected by now.

    I realize that you as well informed on the facts as you’d like people to think, so let me give you an example of how the Gov’t operates whenever they accidentally let the cat out of the bag.

    After 9/11, it was noted that the Dept. of Transportation’s records showed
    that AA FL 77 was not scheduled for 9/11. Later, the records were changed to read that the flight was “canceled”. BTW, none of the planes that allegedly crashed were even deregistered until 2005.

    Stuff happens, but you wouldn’t know it if you don’t study the evidence.

  33. As for deregistering airplanes; the idiot to whom I sold my plane flew it into a grove of pine trees a couple of months later. The final accident report was not published for well over a year, and that was just a private plane crash with no fatalities. I could still find the registration number on line for several years thereafter. I know because I looked it up several times out of nostalgia. Just because a plane is destroyed, they do not rush around to deregister the N-number. It simply no longer matters whether it is registered or not if it is destroyed. Bureaucrats get around to the paperwork in due time. With the big budget cuts, everything takes longer.

    You really ought to get out more. Reading conspiracy theory blogs will not make you smarter, and you will be less prone to embarrassing yourself.

  34. As for the anecdote you mention, it has nothing to do with the fact that the planes of 9/11 didn’t crash – and evidence of that is the fact they weren’t even deregistered until 2005. Crashed airliners can’t continue to be operated as though they hadn’t crashed.

    That’s a novel excuse you gave. Usually, people like you try to explain away things like this by saying things like: gov’t incompetence , negligence ,coincidence etc.

    is it your opinion that SSDI mistakes happen fairly often, and it’s just a coincidence that it happened in the case of Adam Lanza?

    You don’t seem to know or care that the gov’t lies all the time, and they count on people like you eating it up and never questioning anything.

    A book or two on logic and critical thinking might help you.

  35. Apollo Astronot is certain in his belief that aliens have visited Earth, and he also claims to have seen a UFO while on his way to the Moon…and never mind that none of the Apollo missions ever left low Earth orbit.

    Oh, and Mr./Ms. Scribe, any lawyer can tell you that conspiracies are extremely common, and YOU too are a conspiracy theorist. You just happen to believe in the bush 9/11 conspiracy – which requires a belief in miracles in order to be true.

  36. Anyone that appreciates Benny Hill can’t be all bad. Thanks for sharing your cultural tastes in comedy and music. Like Benny, you’re a real hoot!

  37. You really are a piece of work. Here I compliment your(arguably) low-brow
    taste and your response came straight from the Tea Party book on what to say when you have nothing to say that’s worth saying.

    You people really are all alike. Right-wingers everywhere, UNITE!

  38. Tea Party? Right winger?

    Have you ever actually read this blog, bill?

    That was what is known as a rhetorical question.

  39. bill

    Have you ever considered with regard to the SSDI listing of lanza that it might have been a typographical error? Waht is more likely: Someone doing data entry hits a [3] instead of a [4] when the keys are right next to each other and that is a frequent mistake, or that everything else in the school shooting is a fabrication despite all the video / dead kids / dead shooter / witness accounts?

    Plus, IF the gov’t wanted to shootup an elementary school in an American city, what possible reason would there be to forge his death certificate’s dates? There is no advantage in doing this no matter how nefarious the gov’t goals might be. And that is assuming the most looney toon gov’t wants to kill school children point of view. (which is yours I suspect)

    As Otteray commented previously about Tail Numbers on aircraft. He is correct in that. As far as my experience has been I had to deal with people’s driver licenses and ID documents many times every day. A few times a year I would encounter someone who had official ID that had an incorrect date of birth on it. Usually this was a 16 year old who just got their driver license or a recent immigrant. In fact, my best friend had this happen to him when he got his learner’s permit. The same electronic device (keyboard) coupled with human error led to ths mistake. That said, it did not mean that because the driver license read their DOB was a day earlier it did not change the fact that they were retroactively born the day before.

    And yes, it does take quite some time to correct errors on gov’t documents. My dad’s birth certificate spelled his name incorrectly. The third letter of his middle name was mistakenly not capitalized. Over time he just abandoned capitalizing it to make it consistent. It does not mean that my dad’s birth was fraudulent or did not occur.

  40. bill here is a lesson for all in understanding your version of logic.

    Bill McWilliams 84 of Trenton passed away Saturday August 4, 2012 at his home in Trenton.

    It would seem according to this death notification that bill mcwilliams died in 2012, how could he possibly be the person who posts these rantings on Everyone knows that bill died and in his place men in black are using this dopplegänger of bill to refute all the truths in the world

    It is just another one of those gov’t lies that you keep eating up so that you will never question anything.

  41. Hey look, there’s that “training and experience” thingy again…

    “Lt. Steve Winward simply told the press at the time that “with her training and experience, it’s second nature for her to find these people who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.” It now appears that the “second nature” was to simply arrest everyone to the applause of people like Winward.”

  42. Darren,
    Do you think we should send flowers or is it too late? I mean, Bill has been dead now for seven months, rest his soul. He must be posting as a zombie. I even found a picture he could use as his avatar.

    This must be a great likeness, don’t you think?

  43. Otteray and Darren, pure genious : ) Doesn’t hurt that I saw that post while watching The Walking Dead. He’s ignornt for a human, but quite eloquent to be undead.

  44. Alfonse Koonce and osprich — if you two clowns could rebut anything i’ve
    posted, I think you would have done so, but since you can’t, you put on a demonstration of ignorant cowardice that no doubt embarrasses all but your
    most favorite fellow Tea Partiers. Pathetic.phonies.

  45. Tea party? I’m a registered democrat, I just live on THIS planet. I won’t take the time to rebut your conspiracies that are proven facts. Doesn’t mean that I can’t or that I accept government actions and explanations without scrutinizing them, but by your standards I’d then be bound by proving things like that the ocean is wet and helium is lighter than air. To rebut your wild and outrageous accusations would only harm my credibility. I do however appreciate your daily comic relief. Moon landing happened in a movie studio…. CLASSIC…

  46. And again, TEA PARTY? NNNNEVER been so insulted. I literally removed Fox News from my guide because it’s basically fictional television trying to spread propaganda under the guise of proper news. Reminds me a bit of a certain person on a certain blog web site that I occasionally frequent.

  47. bill, I just want to know one thing. Can you see your reflection in a mirror?

    I have a patch of garlic out back. Wanna come over to my house and pick some?

  48. J Koonce,

    I am a hillbilly. We pronounce it, “ignernt” here in the backwoods. We ain’t no sissies either. We don’t drink none of that tea stuff. That’s for Englishmen what sips it from cups with their pinkie finger stuck out. We have good ole corn likker. In towns in the south, I hear they make tea so sweet it will take the enamel off your teeth.

  49. Yeeeeee haw. I heard it told EVERYONE up north there wears ‘shoes’, and witches read EEElectronic books. Shit… the dog jus’ spilt maws mason jar.

  50. Otteray Scribe observed:
    “Bill has been dead now for seven months, rest his soul. He must be posting as a zombie”
    Undead, yes. Zombie, doubtful. I have it on good authority zombies eat brains, something clearly lacking in bill’s world

  51. I grow up in Eastern Warshington. It is a spaycial place, plenty of k-eye-yotes to hunt with our salt rifles or are aught-sixes. That’s what we do when we aint huntin rattlers down in dry cricks or flushin chuckers out of corn shocks.

    We don’t need no gov’t conspiracy theories, that’s for hicks.

  52. To understand better why police officers (and other gov’t. officials) think they can lie and present false evidence with impunity, study the following:

    “Police Officers’ Perjury Immunity” Supreme Court case:
    BRISCOE v. LaHUE, 460 U.S. 325 (1983)

    The Supremes’ researchers found no instances in which an enforcement official was prosecuted criminally for shading testimony to the prejudice of the accused.
    Arecent instance of this extremely rare action is the case of Mark Fuhrman, who inflicted severe damage on the O.J. Simpson murder prosecution by lying when asked if he had used the “N”-word in the previous 10 years. As his testimony was needen to place Simpson at the scene of the crime at the time of the crime, this critical piece of evidence was placed in doubt. The prosecutor, angered at the loss of the case, took out her fury on Fuhrman as the only person on whom she could “nail” the blame.

    “Former criminal defendants may well wish to avoid further entanglements with the legal system and are unlikely to have the resources needed to pursue such suits. Lawyers will probably have little incentive to become involved in actions against the police, and those that do face an uphill struggle.” Footnote 44

    A major reason for allowing suits against officers for alleged perjury is that the damages are not seized from the officer but are paid by his/her agency or by a risk management pool.
    “Police officers and other government officials differ significantly from private citizens, around whom common-law doctrines of witness immunity developed. A police officer comes to the witness stand clothed with the authority of the State. His official status gives him credibility and creates a far greater potential for harm than exists when the average citizen testifies. The situation is aggravated when the official draws on special expertise. A policeman testifying about a fingerprint identification or a medical examiner testifying as to the cause of a death can have a critical impact on a defendant’s trial. At the same time, the threat of a criminal perjury prosecution, which serves as an important constraint on the average witness’ testimony, is virtually nonexistent in the police-witness context. Despite the apparent prevalence of police perjury, prosecutors exhibit extreme reluctance in charging police officials with criminal conduct because of their need to maintain close working relationships with law enforcement agencies. The majority thus forecloses a civil sanction in precisely those situations where the need is most pressing.”
    “… the danger that official witnesses would be inhibited in testifying by the fear of a damages action is much more remote than would be the case with private witnesses. Policemen normally have a duty to testify about matters involving their official conduct. The notion that officials with a professional interest in securing criminal convictions would shade their testimony in favor of a defendant to avoid the risk of a civil suit can only be viewed with skepticism. In addition, police officials are usually insulated from any economic hardship associated with lawsuits based on conduct within the scope of their authority.”
    “Police officers are generally provided free counsel and are indemnified for conduct within the scope of their authority.” Fn. 38

    “Sheriffs, having eyes to see, see not; judges, having ears to hear, hear not; witnesses conceal the truth or falsify it; grand and petit juries act as if they might be accomplices” Fn. 31

    “[T]he courts are in many instances under the control of those who are wholly inimical to the impartial administration of law and equity” Fn. 31

    “judges exercise their ‘almost despotic powers . . . against Republicans without regard to law or justice’ ” Fn. 31

    “The outrages committed upon loyal men there are under the forms of law. It can be summed up in one word: loyal men cannot obtain justice in the courts . . .” Fn. 31

  53. In my experience, and I’ve had a lot of it because I don’t believe I need the government’s permission to travel by the most convenient means (a.k.a. drivers license), cops always–no exception–lie when they testify in court. Always!!!

  54. A conspiracy is simply two or more persons plotting to commit a crime or other wrong. Usually this is done in secret but when the conspirators are brazen or feel secure enough they may do their plotting openly – “in your face.”.

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