Colorado town to pay $400k settlement to man falsely arrested for DUI

Harris Elias had no alcohol in his breath or his blood when he was pulled over in 2020 in Loveland, Colorado, but was arrested for DUI all the same. Though this is not unusual on the roadside, it is unusual after blood tests come in. Elias sued, and now the city, whose cops are often in the news, is paying very handsomely to avoid the scrutiny that fighting his lawsuit would entail.

A breath test at the police station showed no alcohol in Elias' system. "I thought they would thank me for my time and give me a ride back home," Elias said. Instead, police pressed Elias to take a blood test. That subsequent blood test confirmed no alcohol or drugs in the man's system. "The entire system is set up to go after people for no illegal or logical reason," said Elias. His attorney Sarah Schielke believes the problem stems from a police culture that incentivizes officers to make more and more DUI arrests. She says officers who make the most DUI arrests are honored, given better shifts and compete with other departments to see who can make the most DUI arrests.

Elias is suing another police department under very similar circumstances.

Here's the bodycam footage of his stop. Watching him I felt an angel whisper in my ear a new phrase as yet unknown to Google, Bing or the Spartan ephors: DUI auditor.