On November 15, 2008
I left the local VFW at 12:30. I drove down Mauldin Road to US 41 North. After I made a left hand turn on to 41 north, about a quarter mile up the road I passed another vehicle traveling south. As I returned the hotel, that my fiancé had earlier in the day, I noticed another vehicle abruptly accelerating to the rear of my vehicle and just as quickly retreat. I indicated that I was turning, moved into the central turning lane and proceeded to turn. As I began to turn the vehicle behind me activated their blue lights.
After stopping, I looked at the clock and noticed it was 12:50am. I exited my vehicle and handed the trooper (trooper #1) my license. The trooper returned to his vehicle and as he reached the door he stopped and asked if he’d informed me why he stopped me, I replied no, he said “speed”. Another trooper (trooper #2) pulled up on the scene, #2 and #1 spoke for a moment and it seemed to me that trooper #2 was instructing trooper #1. When Trooper #1, returned, he asked if I’d been drinking, I replied two or three. He asked if I would take some field sobriety test, I replied no, I noticed trooper #2 mouthing what seemed to be instructions to Trooper #1. Trooper #1 told me that if I refused to comply with the state mandated tests that my license would be suspended for one year, feeling defeated, I asked what I had to do. He proceeded into the field sobriety tests. He shined the flashlight directly into my eyes, I turned my head away from the light to protect my eyes. He said that I had failed. He requested that I stand on one leg, I informed him that I have known since childhood that I have no sense of balance and would not be able to comply. At that point I feared he would ask me to recite the alphabet backwards, so to deter that request I said my sheet slitter tongue twister, thinking that anyone who could say that should be free to go. He then requested that I blow into the portable breath test, I blew four or five breaths into it. Trooper #2 asked what he got, as he turned it around I saw the reading to be 02. Trooper #1 said that she didn’t do it right. I asked “what kind of lung capacity do you think I have after smoking for thirty years?” I then asked “can I go now?” because this seemed to be going on far too long! Trooper #1 asked if I had anything in my pockets, not knowing what this was leading to I said that I didn’t know. He asked “any sharp objects, any weapons?” I got it then, I raised my hands and said there was a gun in the side pocket of the truck. Trooper #2 pulled his gun and aimed it at Mr. Passenger, my fiancé as he approached the truck on the drivers side, I could not help but think how dangerous this had suddenly become after a half hour of my weapon not being a problem, now it is. I stood perfectly still knowing that one move could lead to devastating results. (Barney Fife was suddenly on the scene.) Once the gun was secured Trooper #2 investigated the open container and concluded it contained water. He then began looking for my gun permit, or searching my truck, it wasn’t clear because it continued for an extended period of time. I tried telling him where the permit was, if I had it with me, but he and Mr. Passenger, continued the search. After five to ten minutes of searching they concluded that the permit wasn’t there. Trooper #2 walked back to the passenger side of the vehicle as Trooper #1 mirandized me and placed hand cuffs on me. As Trooper #1 placed hand cuffs on me I realized that he wasn’t comfortable with where my wrists were so I lifted my wrists away from my body and made the comment “Oh, you wouldn’t want to be accused of feeling me up,” he said “no Mam, I don’t think so”. After that, he lead me around the patrol car and as we walked he gave me a little push, so that I would loose balance. Then acted as though he’d not done that. He placed me in the back of the patrol vehicle at approximately 1:30am. After being placed in the back of the patrol car I noticed Trooper #2 in his patrol car, calling in the weapon and I stated through the window that there was one, meaning bullet, in it and please don’t let anyone get hurt. Trooper #1 asked what I wanted to do about my truck and I said to have it towed, because I didn’t want my gun left unsecured, Trooper #2 assured me that my gun and vehicle would be secured. I looked to the front of the patrol vehicle and noticed a quad vision monitor on the computer showing around the car as well as the passenger compartment. Mr. Passenger, was allowed to come back and speak with me briefly twice. The first time, with Trooper #1 there and the second time with Trooper #2 there. Trooper #1 then got into the patrol car and radioed in “ In route, one white female…”. It was approximately 1:35am. Three or four minutes later we arrived at the jail and he called in his ending mileage. He escorted me into the jail and as we waited for the jailer, the male prisoners began making comments. I looked at Trooper #1 and asked him, “Are you really going to expose me to this now?” He looked around for a moment as though he was looking for some other place to take me so that I wouldn’t be exposed to the harassment, but then did nothing. The jailer came out and began inventorying my personal effects. The prisoners quieted down. Trooper #1 went into another room. Trooper #1 stepped back into the room and stated I’m having a problem with the machine, the jailer asked what it was doing, but he didn’t answer. He turned and walked back into the room. As the jailer was putting my things into the plastic bag, I asked about my glasses and said I needed them to read, The jailer kind of laughed I said that she didn’t think I would need them and that she was only allowed to give them to me if they were prescription glasses. I asked, so I won’t be reading anything? She said that she didn’t think so. After the jailer had finished taking my inventory she handed me a receipt for my personal property. I then walked into the room with Trooper #1. He became upset that I was in there and told me to wait outside. A minute later he said “It’s ready now, step in here, blow in that tube.” After complying with his orders, he ordered me out of the room again. Three or four minutes later, he ordered me to step back in here and blow again. After that I was put in the cell. About five minutes later I saw Trooper #2 arrive at the jail. Approximately an hour later Trooper #1 called me out requesting that I sign his papers. I told him that I probably would not have any problem signing his papers if he could get my glasses so that I could read what I was signing, before I signed it. He said ‘Mam, I can’t get your glasses”. I said, “ well sir, then I can’t sign your papers”. He then became enraged and started yelling about how he was trying to help me here and what was he supposed to do. I then turned back to the cell door and waited for him to open the door so that I could feel safe.
Approximately 7am I was called out to be booked. As I waited I asked for a drink of water, I was told that I could have something to drink later. The jailers then began commenting on how I must not be feeling very well after a night of drinking and that’s probably why I’d asked for water and that my head probably didn’t feel very well either. Another jailer said “yep, he stopped you for DUI”. I said “that’s not why he stopped me”. He said “what”, so I repeated myself. He then punched of the computer for a minute or so and then said “ Oh, speed, 23 over”. I again requested a drink of water, and was told that I could have water when they were done.
An hour or so later I was bonded out, handed my personal effects and that was all. I told Mr. Passenger that I no longer felt like a citizen, because a citizen has constitutional rights and what they did last night stomped all of my rights. We then went to the towing company to retrieve my truck and realized that the windows had been rolled down and the gate to the towing company had been left open. My truck, nor my gun had been secured, in fact my gun was actually sitting in two inches of water from the overnight rain. Mr. Passenger went into the towing company, handed them cash and they handed him the keys. Never once was he asked for any identification and not a single receipt was received.
When I arrived at home I immediately began researching on the internet about my options, what I was facing and the laws that were supposed to protect me. I learned of something called an ALS hearing and that I had 10 days to request a hearing or my license would be automatically suspended for one year. So I requested a hearing. I then learned that I could subpoena a copy of the in car video and did so.