A man initially arrested for DWI at a sobriety checkpoint in November 2008, the charges for which were dropped four months later, has sued for wrongful arrest. As a New Jersey DWI defense attorney, I have represented clients over the years who have faced similar circumstances. In the case of Tyrone Foxworth’s drunk driving arrest, the claimant says that Officer Kristina Ramsi falsely arrested the Somers Point man and caused him to be prosecuted in a malicious fashion, thus violating his rights under both the Fourth and Fourteenth amendments of the United States Constitution.
According to reports, this individual was still charged with drunk driving even after Foxworth’s blood alcohol content (BAC) registered a reading of 0.00 percent via a Breathalyzer test at the Northfield police station just 15 minutes following his arrest at the checkpoint. Police records show that no blood or urine was taken for a drug test at time, because there was no drug-recognition expert available that evening.
Based on news accounts, Foxworth was driving with two friends when his vehicle was flagged down at a multi-jurisdictional DWI checkpoint along Shore Road around 3am on Thanksgiving morning. As per standard procedures, every fifth vehicle was being flagged and pulled over, according to police. The complaint states that Foxworth was instructed to pull into a secondary check area by Absecon Officer James Laughlin.
According to court records, when Ramsi asked if Foxworth had been drinking he responded no. Ramsi then requested that Foxworth perform several sobriety tests, including various “balance” tests and a “horizontal gaze” test — the complaint claims that “neither of the tests can accurately provide probable cause for this determination (of DWI).” Foxworth was subsequently arrested and charged with DWI and reckless driving.
It is important to note that in a previous court hearing, in which the charges were dropped, Judge Matthew Powals made sure to enter into the court record that there was “no observed improper behavior” on Foxworth’s part.
This is a perfect example of why it is imperative to retain an experienced drunk driving defense lawyer to handle a DWI, drug DUI or breath test refusal case. Charges made are not always accurate, but without proper representation, an innocent person could be convicted of a serious offense, one that could affect that individual’s future in more ways than one.
Man with 0.00% blood alcohol content sues over Northfield DWI charge, PressofAtlanticCity.com, August 26, 2009