Man Under The Influence Of Caffeine Charged With DUI


On August 5, 2015 Joseph Schwab was driving north in Solano County, California when he was pulled over by a police officer.

While Schwab had ingested no drugs or alcohol, he was charged with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence).  

Schwab’s attorney, Stacey Barrett, recounted the shocking situation for reporters.

While driving home from work, Schwab was pulled over by an officer from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The agent, who was driving an unmarked vehicle, said Schwab had cut her off and was driving erratically.

The agent gave Schwab a breathalyzer test which showed a 0.00% blood alcohol level, his attorney said.

Regardless, Schwab was arrested and booked into the county jail where he had his blood drawn.

The toxicology report came back negative for benzodiazepines, cocaine, opiates, THC, carisoprodol (a muscle relaxant), methamphetamine/MDMA, oxycodone, and zolpidem.

According to the Guardian, a laboratory in Pennsylvania screened the blood sample a second time which came back positive only for caffeine.

Schwab is still preparing to go to trial roughly 18 months later to defend the only substance he tested positive for – caffeine.

Barrett told reporters, “I’ve never seen this before. I’ve never even heard of it.”

The Chief Deputy District Attorney for Solano County, Sharon Henry, said that her office was, “conducting further investigation in this matter,” and that, “The charge of driving under the influence is not based upon the presence of caffeine in his system.”

Schwab’s attorney responded to Henry’s statement saying,” I have not been provided with any evidence to support a theory of prosecution for a substance other than caffeine at this time. Nor I have received any statements, reports, etc. documenting any ongoing investigation since the [toxicology report] dated 18 November 2015.”

As stated by the Guardian, “California vehicle code defines a “drug” as any substance besides alcohol that could affect a person in a manner that would “impair, to an appreciable degree” his ability to drive normally.”

As charges were not brought until nearly 10 months after the incident, Barrett has filed a motion for the case to be dismissed. If the request is denied, Schwab’s case will go to court on January 11th.

In a statement provided to the Guardian by his attorney, Schwab relayed that he wants this ordeal to be over, and that his reputation had been damaged by the ordeal.

“No one believed me that I only had caffeine in my system until I showed them the lab results. I want the charges to be dismissed and my name to be cleared.”

H/T: The Guardian

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