Layton, Utah — (KUTV) On July 25, 2016 Amanda Houghton called police for help after she was rear-ended at a stoplight. She expected Layton City officers would help her, but instead she was arrested for DUI and subjected to a body search that left her feeling violated. The arrest was recorded by a police camera.
“I was shocked. Who arrests a sober person for DUI?” she said.
She failed a field sobriety test but says it was because she was shaken after being hit at about 30 miles per hour. Her car was totaled after the crash.
Houghton is also upset that after she was put in handcuffs, the officer searched around her breasts to check for drugs or weapons.
She is now pursuing legal action against the city of Layton. At the same time, has to worry about the DUI and resisting arrest charges that have not been dropped, despite the fact that blood tests -- one done by police, the other by the hospital -- showed she had no drugs or alcohol in her system.
Her criminal defense attorney, Jonathan Nish, said he filed a request for the court to throw out the DUI charge.
“I don’t’ believe they should have administered the field sobriety tests at all in this case,” he said.
Houghton has also hired attorney Robert Sykes who has put the City of Layton on notice that they are seeking legal action.
Sykes said the officer had no basis for suspecting she was under the influence and the search of her person was unconstitutional.
“I think this amounted to an unconstitutional search of a woman without a necessity to do so,” he said.
Layton police disagree.
A police report by officer G Schatzman indicates Amanda exhibited odd behavior and gave “short quick answers to questions and she was speaking rapidly. Amanda was unable to stand still and seemed to be making jerky movements,” when he came into contact with her.
During the field sobriety test, she didn’t pass and showed physical clues that she was under the influence.
Lt. Travis Lyman said his officer did the arrest by the book and had reasonable suspicion that Amanda was DUI.
He said the search around her breasts is taught in the police academy. Male officers do it when a female officer is not around.
“That’s standard practice. Anytime someone gets arrested they are going to be searched,” he said.
Lyman confirmed the blood tests showed Amanda had no drugs or alcohol in her system but said it’s up to prosecutors and the judge to determine if the charges will be dropped.