Home / Badge Abuse / Amid Massive Backlash, DA Drops DUI Charges Against Man Who Tested Positive for Caffeine

Amid Massive Backlash, DA Drops DUI Charges Against Man Who Tested Positive for Caffeine

Thanks in part to public exposure brought about by alternative media sites such as The Free Thought Project and others, Joseph Schwab of Fairfield, CA, will not face felony driving under the influence (DUI) charges for operating his vehicle while under the effects of caffeine. Yes. That’s right. Caffeine.

However, police note that they are still charging him with reckless driving.

TFTP brought attention to Schwab’s case on Monday in our first story. And on Wednesday, the Solano County, CA District Attorney Krishna Abrams, announced they were dropping the DUI charges against Schwab. “After further consideration, without a confirmatory test of the specific drug in the defendant’s system that impaired his ability to drive, we do not believe we can prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt,” the press release reads.

Despite their best attempts to charge this man with a DUI, they were unable to find anything other than caffeine in his system.

According to KCRA, Abrams still believes some drug other than caffeine was in Schwab’s system, but that testing didn’t reveal it.

“Do we wish that it could test for more drugs?” Abrams said of their testing system. “Absolutely, because then we would know what was in his system.”

So, for 16 months these charges lingered over Schwab’s head — based solely on the hunch of a DA.

On Wednesday, Snopes attempted to ‘debunk’ the story by claiming that the Free Thought Project “(implied) his legal troubles were the result of merely drinking too much coffee.”

However, that is not at all what was reported. In fact, the Free Thought Project simply covered the police department’s own admission that Schwab was charged with a DUI and the only drug in his system at the time was caffeine. These two facts are indisputable. However, the supposed arbiter of ‘fake news’ insisted on slandering the Free Thought Project anyway.

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John Vibes of TFTP described the arrest which took place in 2015, “Schwab was driving home from work when he was pulled over by an agent from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, who was driving an unmarked vehicle. The agent said Schwab had cut her off and was driving erratically. The officer claims that Schwab cut her off and she gave him a breathalyzer which showed a blood alcohol content of 0.00%. Unfortunately, the officer was still not convinced. So, she arrested him and took him to jail so his blood could be drawn for other drugs. His blood tests came back negative for all illegal drugs. But he did test positive for caffeine. For some reason, this was enough to charge Schwab with a DUI,” Vibes wrote.

Neither a highway patrolman, a county, nor a city police officer arrested Schwab, but rather an Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) agent made the arrest. According to the Daily Republic, Michelle Ott, was the ABC agent who arrested him.

Ott is assigned to the Bay Area field enforcement office and reportedly made 54 arrests in 2014 for “crimes related to underage drinking and 36 other arrests, including for public drunkenness and sales to intoxicated patrons at and around businesses licensed by the ABC.”

While Ott did indeed conduct a field sobriety test, and felt strongly that Schwab was under the influence of some illicit substance, the toxicology report came back negative, and should have immediately resulted in all DUI charges being dropped. But Schwab had to fight the charges for over a year before ultimately not being charged with the crime.

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Schwab’s case, once again, serves as further evidence that given a badge and a title, officers can get away with anything. These mistakes and missteps in policing are costing thousands of dollars for innocent people to defend against, needlessly clogs the court systems, and ultimately ends up solving no crimes.

If a man can be charged with a DUI for having caffeine in his system, no one is safe from police and their lawless quest to generate revenue from bogus charges.

  • TOPDOG1

    The prosecutor is the is the guilt party here along with the officers obvious road rage. Most Prosecutors rubber stamp anything the officer wishes them to. This results in many many thousands locked away in jails and prisons because of false and unconstitutional charges.Until these prosecutors are held responsible as accessories for the police murders and violations of Civil Liberty’s, things will only get worse. The Board of Professional Responsibility are supposed to control and disbar these despots are failing to do their job as well. Persons who have been wronged should direct their attacks at these prosecutors and the Board who are supposed to police them.

  • Phil Freeman

    Since when does AbC have authority to initiate a traffic stop anyway? Frivolous without merit and of no authority!

    • Joe Menn

      ABC agents are sworn LEOs and have all the rights and responsibilities of uniformed police. However, pursuing a charge of DUI for a year and a half when you have absolutely zero evidence is wrongful prosecution. The charges should have been dropped immediately regardless of the opinion of the arresting ABC agent, who was likely bent out of shape at having been cut off in traffic and made the whole thing up out of pure dickishness.

      • Phil Freeman

        How about providing a source citation for that claim. Im a former deputy sheriff and have worked with ABC, they don’t make traffic stops. Nor do the marshalls, batfe, or us secret service.

        • Joe Menn

          I agree ABC agents shouldn’t be conducting traffic stops and should limit their scope to their specific assignments, but this vaguely puts stops within their purview:

          “An agent with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is
          a non-uniformed, sworn peace officer who performs the full range of
          peace officer duties and responsibilities in the accomplishment of
          his/her assignments. ” – https://www.abc.ca.gov/jobs/Agents.html

          • Phil Freeman

            Was that stop within the scope of her assignment? It’s a pissing contest in road rage dumbfuckery. A total chicken shit charge. Certainly reasonable to see it as a retributive act.

      • Phil Freeman

        Well, Leo’s aren’t qualified to make legal determinations, much less medical determinations. No mention of any driving pattern to provide probable cause for the stop.

        • Agree 100%! And is there dash cam video to PROVE he failed her “sobriety tests”, or whatever they’re called? Is it a “he said/she said”? How about dash cam video showing she got “cut off” or whatever other crime she’s accusing him of, that provoked this “arrest”?

          Now caffeine will be outlawed so they’ll have another reason to imprison ppl – geez! I pity the folks who love their coffee, etc. I used to have my “momma’s little helpers” in the form of caffeine pills, I know what it was like getting myself off of them – phew! Headaches and cranky attitude out the ears! Not making fun either, it was a bitch!

  • The Cat’s Vagina
  • The Cat’s Vagina

    According to KCRA, Abrams still believes some drug other than caffeine was in Schwab’s system, but that testing didn’t reveal it.

    That’s pretty much what he HAS to say in order to be covered by “qualified immunity” when the lawsuits start flying. If he admits to knowingly hassling someone over caffeine, a good case could be made that he abused his authority for petty and/or corrupt reasons.

    • PatrickHenry

      If testing did not reveal any other drugs his release should have been immediate.

      • The Cat’s Vagina

        I don’t disagree, I’m just suggesting that this guy is lying about having suspected there was some secret drug hiding beyond the reach of their drug tests.

  • Alberto

    Schwab should’ve filed charges against the ABC agent for false arrest and using an unmarked patrol car. It’s illegal and against the law for any police agent to use an unmarked vehicle traffic patrol.

    • Robert Rockey

      I’m sure the officer did a full investigation of himself, and despite not following the code, found himself not guilty of any wrong doing, and concluded he acted within all official standards.

      • PatrickHenry

        Uh yup that sums it up.

      • She. Read the article. Not trying top be snarky or anything to you, just sayin’.

  • avelworldcreator

    Well, the Free Thought Project had a title that implied otherwise. It’s the headline, not the content that Snopes has them to rights on. FTP’s story content was accurate apparently. Hopefully, FTP has contacted Snopes to work things out.

    • Eff Snopes. Look up the aholes who run it.

      • avelworldcreator

        That’s call “ad hominem”, dude. You not only failed to support your point, but also painted yourself as a bigotted asshole too. Way to go.

        • How was that bigoted?

          • avelworldcreator

            Look up the definition of the word.

          • Nooe, checks out, try again please.

          • avelworldcreator

            According to Webster:

            a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices

          • It was certainly an ad hominem.

    • SteveDave123

      Snopes is simply a terribly designed website that have people who search Google, Yahoo, and Bing for answers that fit within the accepted “official” narrative.

      Snopes is worse than using Wikipedia as a source for information – at least Wikipedia is a great starting place while Snopes is where truth goes to die.

      • avelworldcreator

        Snopes replies can be verified and authenticated as can Wikipedia; the information for each can be readily cross-checked. The same standards are used for both sites. As for terrible design? That’s pretty subjective. Snopes and Wikipedia are set up with a focus on function over form so “pretty” takes a back seat to the content. If you can prove a consistent pattern of falsehood then your claim will stand up otherwise all you are doing is simply making unsubstantiated accusations. The concept is called “accountability”. The Free Thought Project is a “muckraking” site. It has some license to be a little extreme and the team also generally tries to check their information; they just don’t have all the resources the larger organizations can bring to bear to verify things, so some inadvertent slant is going to happen.

        • kajidono
          • avelworldcreator

            I sense selection bias at work here. The author of the piece you linked makes a number of claims which can’t be supported by the information provided. Unless you’ve made a regular study of the various forms of logical fallacy it is unlikely you’d catch them. Much of the article is simply ad hominem. Let’s go over some of the claims made about the article that the writer cites as “evidence” deceit.
            1. He asserts that Mrs. Clinton was laughing about the case because she laughed three times. Let us say I was talking about a previous job and I describe an employee telling me a story that I found funny at the time which causes me to laugh at that particular recollection am I laughing about the job? Or about that that event? How about three events that occurred during my employment? Does laughing at those three events mean I was laughing about my job? Or just the events? If I’m laughing about a job – a event in its own right – I would laugh once – and in response to my direct description of that job. A criminal case isn’t a single event; it’s an activity that occurs over a number of days and during that time a number of concurrent events will happen. Some of them will be routine, some may be benign, some may be tragic, and some may be laughably absurd. It is not troubling to laugh at the absurd.
            2. In a criminal defense case the burden of proof is on the accuser. In the case here the defendant made the plea of “not guilty”; not his attorney. To say Mrs. Clinton had made the pleading is an absolute falsehood. The only plea that an attorney can make on behalf of a client is “not guilty by reason of mental deficit” and that did not happen here. Her job would be to find evidence or argument that cast doubt on the claim against her client but she was not making the counter-claim “she’s a liar”. That would actually be a separate perjury case; again this never happened.
            3. She never asserted that she knew her client to be guilty. The writer goes to lengths to try to establish that she believed her client to be guilty but his only evidence was circumstantial at best. Polygraph exams ask multiple questions and, in a criminal case, none of them can be directly incriminatory (“did you rape that girl” is straight out). Neither we, nor the writer, actually know what part of the exam the client passed that made Mrs. Clinton doubt their accuracy.

            Then the writer complains that Snopes “undermined” a previous story he deemed “outrageous”. Here’s the points:
            * The Philadelphia Inquirer posted a story about police being called in over something involving brownies in a third grade classroom.
            * Ethics Alarm posted a comment about it without apparent fact-checking. They simply took the story at face value.
            * Snopes, doing the actual fact checking, used a title using key terms from the story. Titles tend to be short and details will be omitted. The story was about the police supposedly being called in because the usage of the word “brownies” was claimed to be racist. Try making a short title out of that description! The title was accurate but confusing without a context. There was no deceit in it.
            * Snopes did not claim the story was false but only said that the original publication left out facts necessary to corroborate the story and that the reporting was poor because of it. Snopes described the steps they took to check the story (which nobody else apparently bothered to do) and the outcome of those steps at the time the Snopes article was written.
            Asking that parties do fact checking is “undermining” a story? Really?

            Next the writer attacks Snopes for posting about a Facebook posting by a former Baltimore police officer that had gone viral. Snopes simply verified it was an actual posting by the person in question, that it was a personal recounting by the man, that the posting could be subject to further fact-checking but Snopes was electing not to do so because of the nature of what was written. Snopes was checking to see if the article was authentic and concluded it was. The writer claims that because Snopes actually investigated the authenticity of the article at the request of their readership that they were calling the article a hoax because of the nature of the site; that it was a deliberate hatchet job against the officer. You ask someone “is this true?” and they come back and say “this is true” this is not an attack against the truth or the character of that truth. In fact Snopes showed great respect to the writing by the officer. They did not fact-check the post at all; only that it was authentic. But this writer is determined to try to show that “Snopes is bad people and whatever they do is bad”. His bias is clear.

            Next the writer attacked the Snopes investigation about the American flag on day one of the 2016 Democratic Convention. The claim was that the American flag was banned. Snopes provided evidence that it was not. They provided multiple pieces of evidence from several days of the convention and even the correction by Fox News who had originally misreported the absence of flags. Fox News is far from a left-wing oriented news organization. All Snopes had to do to discredit the claim was to show that the American Flag did not appear in any form on any day on the main stage during the convention. They met the burden of proof. The Daily Caller’s rebuttal doesn’t withstand close scrutiny. They were just pissed off that they got called on their claim. No, Snopes did not use misleading flag photos.

            In short, I’m calling Baxter Dmitry of the Your News Wire site a liar.

          • kajidono

            In my experience, when you have to write a book to excuse a simple situation, you are lying by obscuring the truth in a sea of words. A classic tactic of elite political criminals. Which nobody cares about.

            Facts: Hillary is scum
            Hillary is a criminal
            Hillary lost, despite spending over a billion dollars on her campaign and the full support of the leftist run media, including snopes.

          • avelworldcreator

            No, those are claims. Not facts.
            And the article writer you cited made multiple claims making rebuttal more complex than if he had only made a single claim. It was not a “simple situation”. I was making the claim that the writer was not telling the truth and I had to show accountability – give evidence – in my criticisms.

            Ugh! @kajidono:disqus doesn’t like to think. Many words! Many BIG words hurt brain! Big words not agree with me. Must be lying. Ugh! Emotions only true. Facts not true. People I like say this is true. Because I like them it is true. People who not agree must be liars. Ugh! I say things about people. It is true because I say it. I not prove it because I never wrong! Ugh!

            Yes, you are an idiot. A self-righteous, self-important, idiot who simply regurgitates the claims of others in your echo chamber and doesn’t give a damn about facts and evidence and arrogantly claims that what you “don’t care about” is what everybody else thinks about a topic as well.

            You are a liar. Is that simple enough for you? Or is a word of two syllables like “liar” too much for you to grasp?

          • kajidono

            There you go, show your true colors and resort to insults like a petulant child. Quote snopes some more, or get serious and vomit media matters on everyone. That’ll win over hearts and minds. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6d94393762777f231e089a6bdfaaa6f391e2e883f001574884a3605e0d2766f4.jpg

  • Badcopwatch

    Fck these law enforcement pigs, DA’s too. No wonder cops are getting shot. They are worse than any gang in the country.

  • Undecider

    The DABC’s main jurisdiction is what happens with beverage sales within the confines of the particular retail outlet or business. They’re going a little too far when it comes to make arrests pertaining to behavior. This woman needs to trade in her DABC badge for that of the police. Or maybe she couldn’t pass that test.

  • If some ABC fake cop tried to arrest me I would run and end up with a giant felony or getting shot. I would appreciate a list of all agencies that can arrest me in CA.

  • 30yrfed

    What did we learn class?
    All cops and prosecutors are all corrupt. Just ask any cop or prosecutor if they have ever see a cop break the law (speeding, lying under oath, illegal parking, using excessive force etc) then ask them what they did
    about it considering that they have taken a sworn oath to enforce and uphold the law. You will have your answer..

    No matter how paranoid you are, what they’re actually doing
    is worse than you can possibly imagine..”
    Ralph J Gleason

  • jj

    I love this site and I think you do great work, but you do use clickbait-y headlines sometimes. Even the headline to this article clearly implies that the guy received the DUI because he tested positive for caffeine. Maybe the end justifies the means since those headlines get people to read the article and find out what’s up, but I don’t think you can really blame Snopes for calling you out here. Just my two cents.

  • Ibcamn

    imagine how many other people this cop has fucked over in past years,who knows how many just pled out and gave up,or how many had no way to fight a criminal like her,a badge carrying cunt with an attitude…maybe she is a feminbist and hates men,are all her arrests men,or maybe pretty girls and she is ugly as an old sport sock….who knows but her,and she proved she is a liar and a criminal…so i wouldn’t put it past her[agent]for going over the line for reasons other than legal……all cops are criminals,and yet again,this proves it…….wake up people.