Last year, a 64-year-old Florida man was pulled over for failing to stop as he left a convenience store parking lot and for then driving too fast. An Orlando police officer asked the man to step out of his vehicle. When he did, the officer noticed “a rock like substance on the floor board,” she noted in her police report.
The officer believed the substance was methamphetamine, though the man insisted that it was merely glaze from a doughnut. The officer did a field test of the substance and got a positive result. The man was arrested.
As it turned out, the substance in question was indeed doughnut glaze. The officer and the field test were both wrong.
Now the Orlando Sentinel reports that the officer has been reprimanded for the incident, though an internal police investigation found that she did not act in bad faith. The report added that the department had never trained officers in how to properly administer the roadside drug tests.
A ProPublica report last summer said there is “widespread evidence (that) shows that these tests routinely produce false positives.” The nonprofit organization wondered why the tests are still used.
Charges were dropped against the man, who is now suing the Orlando Police Department.
While the story of the arrest might be amusing in some ways, it was undoubtedly far from funny when it happened to the victim.
For those who face prison time following a Fort Myers drug arrest, the future can be grim. You can speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney about how best to protect your rights and freedom.