Surprise Officers Arrest Man For DUI Who Registered 0.000 on Breathalyzer

Surprise_AZ_seal275px-BafometroI am beginning to get an idea of how Surprise, Arizona got its name. Jessie Thornton, 64, was arrested for driving under the influence after he passed a sobriety test. A later breathalyzer registered 0.000. The officer arrested him because his eyes were red. After Thornton explained that he was swimming, the officer was unconvinced and arrested him anyway.

Thornton was handcuffed and forced to sit on the curb despite telling the officer that he recently had hip surgery. The pain grew worse when he was put in the police cruiser and he asked an officer if she could move her seat up, but he says that she told him to stop whining. He was taken to the station and given the breathalyzer test and blew 0.000. He was then taken to a drug recognition expert who also cleared him. He was forced to get his car out of impoundment but the charges were dropped.

He is now suing and his lawyer alleges that the mistreatment was due to his client’s race. Thornton is African-American.

He is now suing for half a million dollars.

By the way, legend has it that the town was founded in 1938 by Flora Mae Statler, who named it Surprise as she “would be surprised if the town ever amounted to much.” With cases like this, it may be too early to tell.

Of course, Thornton’s reading was just .05 off the produced new blood alcohol level being pursued by the Administration. At a one drink limit, some people could pass a sobriety test and still be legally drunk.

Source: CBS

70 thoughts on “Surprise Officers Arrest Man For DUI Who Registered 0.000 on Breathalyzer”

  1. They think Hindus are terrorists? After 9/11 a Seikh friend of mine got spit on by people who thought he was an Islamic terrorist. He did charge a fearful amount for fries and burgers at his gas station. He ened up having to get rid of the fries because the city didnt want him serving fries and sandwhiches. I guess they also thought he was Muslim.

  2. Bron,

    “what are you talking about? people who have power dont abuse it, they are all rational, moral actors.”

    Considering that’s exactly how you think of businessmen in your Objectivist world, you don’t see the irony and contradiction in that “joke”, do you?

    And what Mike A. said. Cracker lives everywhere as do his other sibling stereotypes. They’re called stereotypes for a reason.

  3. OS, As you know different states have different laws. Here in Wi., the first DUI is AN ORDINANCE VIOLATION. And, 2nd, 3rd offenders often get little or no jail time or Huber incarceration[report to jail to sleep every night or just on weekends]. Our local paper routinely reports people having their 10th, 11th, 14th offense. Of course we agree it is the repeat shitbirds that should be the focus of police action. But to say our DUI problem is not a national disgrace, and to nitpick stupid or overzealous cops instead, is ludicrous @ best.

    By the way, The Royals and Rangers train in Surprise, Az. I’ll bring Visine if I go there. But, I think we all should realize this particular incident is probably more about race than it is about drinking law enforcement.

  4. Bron:

    I’ve lived all over this country and I can assure you that white crackerdom knows no geographical boundaries.

  5. OS:

    what are you talking about? people who have power dont abuse it, they are all rational, moral actors.

    Humans abusing power? Surely you jest? 🙂

  6. nick,
    Partly right. The problem is typically the repeat offender, and I know personally officers who express out loud “why do I bother.” We just had one local case in the paper of a guy whose DUI arrests are now in the high teens figure. He spends a few days in jail and they seize his vehicle. When he gets out of jail, he buys a $500 beater and is on the road again. His fines are not paid, and he has not had insurance for decades. One officer told me they had lost track of the number of accidents he has caused. Mercifully, most are one-car accidents where he runs off the road or hits some solid object.

    However, where your argument breaks down is, there is enough for law enforcement to do without hassling ordinary citizens. That was the whole point of my story last Sunday about CPB running SWAT-type searches of ordinary people in their small planes. Like the real estate agent who was rousted in Iowa City. There is the mentality that if they stop a person, then they must have done SOMETHING. That reminds me of a friend of mine, a defense lawyer, who overheard a prospective juror saying, “If they were arrested and brought to court, that means they are guilty.”

    Recall the incidents from my Sunday story, where the CPB people have a tendency to become increasingly frustrated and visibly enraged when they do a “ramp check” on an airplane and come up with nothing. I really ought to do a story on the psychology of power and the acquisition of power’s tendency to corrupt.

  7. if you see the carnage caused by drunk drivers like I have, mostly by repeaters, the “police state” mentality meme would be for the most part put to rest. But, there are always the idealogues for whom facts are meaningless.

  8. I understand that in some locations, driving while black is a criminal offense.

    However I did not think white crackers [or am I jumping to a conclusion] existed in arizona. I thought they were a product of the deep south.

    Can a person bring a civil suit against an individual officer for rights violations? At some point it seems to me any protection from the employment contract is no longer in force.

    Every other profession needs liability insurance for wrongful acts, maybe we would have fewer of these dastardly breaches of rights if particular officers could be taken to civil court.

  9. Drunk driving is indeed a problem, however, like the other fears that are used to further control us via a police state, it is overblown. The already unrealistic alcohol limits being lower are not to protect anybody. They are to give the police authority to make judgments as to who to harass. There is a simple proof of this proposition and that is that the police could stakeout any popular bar in their area and pull people over the minute they leave the parking lot. While this is sometimes done, it is relatively rare in this country. The reason it is not done is that virtually every driver coming out of a bar parking lot is “legally drunk” and the business community would take reprisals politically. This is also true for many popular restaurants that have full service bars. I do not drink often, but this concentration on DUI bothers me as a driver. Because of various physical conditions I am not sure I can walk a straight line and my hands have tremors from the medication I take. I can see myself getting “taken in” at a roadblock traffic stop because of these stupid tests. The later breathalyser reading clearing me would be small comfort. Oppression always follows the fear and indignation of the people ramped up by demagogues who pass legislation that only exacerbates the problem by consequences unforeseen by an approving public.

  10. If he (or is it she) is “not suing for a half a million dollars” then how much is he suing for? Get a SpullCheck. This thing underlines my mispulled words. Or maybe a GrammarCheck. If ya don’t have a granma then call on Aunt DoeDoe.

  11. “The officer arrested him because his eyes were red.”


    Note to Satan:

    Avoid any surprises, including the one in Arizona.

    P.S. The old “I was swimming” excuse will not work.

  12. The police state can no arrest you because of how you look. Wearing some traditional clothing? You are subject to arrest. Facial hair not quite right? Get out the cuffs. Eyes red? Get ready for some ink on those fingers. Yet most clueless Americans don’t care about the expanding reach of the police state, since it makes them feel ‘safer.’

  13. There seems to be a renewed interest inputting everyone in jail so that we’ll all be safe!

    But seriously, I am aware of many drivers who are on the road who are carrying not one, not 2, not 3, not 4 but 5 DUIs but when one of them was involved in a car accident he was not incarcerated nor was his license taken from him. He totaled the victims car while in the process of running a red light and witnesses testified the he was actually drunk!

    Driving drunk is a real problem but when true violators are allowed to continue their dangerous ways and innocent citizens are treated like this one has to wonder are these laws being enacted for safety or for other reasons?

  14. Hope he gets a good settlement. Physical and emotional pain, time lost, that shouldn’t have happened.

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