A Florida man is suing the Brevard County Sheriff’s Department after being arrested on suspicion of driving impaired, even though he says he hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol.
“There was absolutely no reason for this to happen to me,”Jon Schoonmaker shared his thoughts with Inside Edition.
After the arrest, Schoonmaker took a urine test, which revealed what he knew to be a fact — he was stone cold sober.
And he’s not alone.
Similar events occurred to Harris Elias, 50, in Loveland Colorado. Elias, who was driving home one night, was stopped for failing to signal and found himself in a terrible situation.
“Obviously, I can smell an overwhelming odor of alcohol — don’t fall over there — coming from your vehicle,”Elias was told by the officer who responded.
Elias was puzzled. Like Schoonmaker, he says he hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol, and was shocked when the officer arrested him.
Elias was taken to the station for a breathalyzer. It showed no evidence that he had consumed alcohol. He was not released but remained in police custody.
“I understand you blew triple zeros, so that leads me to believe that there’s something else going on,”The officer said so.
Elias says, “I was dealing with an officer who was absolutely, in my mind, untrustworthy.”
A blood test taken that night later confirmed that there was no booze in Elias’ system.
Elias claims that at least four other motorists were arrested by the same police officer for DUIs. However, they later proved to have been sober.
“There appears to be zero consequence for destroying somebody’s life, an innocent citizen’s life, with a bad arrest,” attorney Sarah Schielke said.
Inside Edition spoke with Robert Ticer, Loveland Police Chief.
“I believe that when this officer or any officer in this department makes an arrest, it’s based on solid probable cause,”Ticer stated.
Both of the men we spoke to were freed from charges.
The Brevard County Sheriff’s Department denies Schoonmaker was wrongfully arrested.