California Man Arrested, Charged with Driving Under the Influence — Of Caffeine



Solano County, CA — 38-year-old Joseph Schwab has been fighting a DUI for over a year, despite the fact that he was not under the influence of any illegal drugs at the time, he did, however, test positive for caffeine.

The Guardian reported that Schwab was pulled over last August by an officer who accused him of driving erratically.

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.

“I’ve never seen this before; I’ve never even heard of it.” Stacey Barrett, Schwab’s attorney said.

“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,” she added.

“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,” Schwab said.

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The California legal code specifies that a “drug” is any substance other than alcohol that could impair a person’s driving, but there is no precedent for caffeine negatively affecting a person’s ability to drive. In fact, it is quite the opposite as caffeine is marketed in gas stations across the country as increasing alertness while on the roadways.

Jeffrey Zehnder, a forensic toxicologist interview by the Guardian, believes that the case against Schwab is extremely weak.

“It’s really stupid, If that’s the case, then they better come and arrest me,” Zehnder joked, adding that, “There are no studies that demonstrate that driving is impaired by caffeine, and they don’t do the studies, because no one cares about caffeine.”

What this case illustrates is the arbitrary nature of the state to use any reason possible to find a person guilty. The police state has claimed a right to search your most private property — your own blood. And, whatever they find inside it — can and will be used against you in a court of law.

  • David Daisy May Boldock

    I drink coffee like i ought to have it intravenously, so if i come to the States i best use cabs haha

    How ludicrous and more ludicrous that this should even be considered for court

    The Judicial system in the US is a complete fuck up and sadly here in the UK it is getting nearly as bad.

    • Andy White

      oh…how right you are…PC culture is a MSM american export to every country in the west,but the UK has found a trading market in it to…so sad and above all so dangerous(the russians hacking the election)that it could put the world in to the war ””to end all wars episode 2”” ….history repeats…

      • David Daisy May Boldock

        Putin for me is more honourable and a real ambassador to his country than Obamination could ever be, and i do not believe for one minute he had anything to do with the hacking. Also consider that if that other monstrosity Clinton had gotten in power she was all out for war with Putin. However i do concur with you that we never learn from history, so repeat it will. Let’s hope the New Year brings some semblance of sensibility and peace prevails. 🙂

  • Undecider

    An agent from the “California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control”? Sorry, first off, I probably wouldn’t have pulled over and #2, upon seeing the ID, I would have said, “thank you and have a nice day!” then resume driving.

  • Sid Samsara

    I wonder how the state of California will respond when the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control raids the rest areas where the state sanctions the free distribution of coffee and tea to enhance public safety.

    Perhaps we need to be good citizens and forward video of cops drinking coffee at Starbucks then driving their cars and returning to duty while under the influence of this intoxicant to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for criminal prosecution.

  • James

    “California vehicle code defines a “drug” any substance besides alcohol that could affect a person in a manner that would “impair, to an appreciable degree” ? So I guess that would include fog or dust..

    • Andy White

      lmao…’fog and sandstorms’? best today….

    • Tyler Witthuhn

      That was an extremely stupid comparison. Sandstorms and Fog are not substances they are forms of weather.

      • haauwnk

        “…Any substance besides alcohol” Which describes fog. If you don’t think a lawyer can twist this to his advantage, you are the idiot.

        • Curry Man

          They may as well include the exhaust too.

      • James

        fog is indeed a substance. It’s droplets of water. Sand is also a substance, so technically, sandstorms are too. Notice I left out thunderstorms and tornadoes.

  • Rogue cops cost us money

    California get ready for a lawsuit for malicious prosecution. The state has no case.

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  • Daniel W. McCullar

    Damn near every cop out there should also be arrested on this charge! This guy needs to go after the arresting officer on so many charges including false arrest and imprisonment as well as multiple violations of rights while under color of law. The arresting officer has no business being a cop, of any type!

    • dufas_duck

      Given the amount of doughnuts police supposedly jam in their face, wouldn’t the police be guilty of driving under the influence of a ‘sugar high’..??

  • American cops are a joke! Bunch of power tripping cowards who need that gun to feel big. Bunch of losers!

    • Reg Blackmore

      power pissed we call it here in Ausralia

  • Tony Velez

    after winning this case, personally sue the Alcoholic Beverage Control bitch agent who put him thru this mess, hope it’s possible so this bitch agent gets a taste of her POS evil ass in court being sued over stupid shit

    • dufas_duck

      ‘Qualified immunity’ will probably be claimed by the pig *itch……. She can do as she pleases without any responsibility for her actions… Power corrupts…

      • WorldWideBum

        That’s why he should go after HER, not her title or status, that’s a “what” not a “who”. BIG difference.

        • dufas_duck

          To the government, especially the police, all their “who”s are a “what” and are immune…. Above the law or not self responsible…

          The “We have investigated our selves and found we never do anything wrong” is always in play no matter what the officer has done. Plus, some citizen will almost always pay for LEO’s mistakes or bad deeds…

    • TxMan

      The “officer” In this case, being from the alcohol/beverage division, had no, none, zero, nada business pulling this person over! Also, after the breathalyzer (showing 0), she should have let this gentleman go, period, end of discussion! This “officer” far exceeded her authority and showed an absolutey dangerous lack of judgement! This “officer” should be fired immediately and never allowed to work in any type of law enforcement in the future! This is abuse, and it needs to stop. The people do have the power to put an end to this type of “power trip policing”, and we must tell them what the rules are going to be…not the other way around (them telling us). Remember, the people are the boss, they are employed and serve at our pleasure! Help your community to give the police the rules and guidelines that the community decided is best and tell law enforcement (local) that these are the rules that You WILL abide by…per the community or “your employer!

    • Brandon

      Video her drinking coffee at Starbucks.

  • George Malone

    She just got her panties twisted because he cut her off.

  • Andy White

    this had to happen California(he says while shaking his head in utter disbelief )….is it me or does California think it is the only place on the planet as it’s PC culture is beyond lunacy….i think this state has lost any sense of reality in it’s quest for the PC insanity that has done so much damage to the western world….

  • Alberto

    I nearly spit my coffee out reading this crap good thing I just had to drive home from the courthouse.

  • Michael Loflin

    OT OH,,,, i drink 1 -2 pots a day.

  • dhartley231 .

    She should be reprimanded,with some time off unpaid !!!

  • Steve Rusk

    Just another test to see how far the cops can overstep their boundaries.

    • TxMan

      You Sir are correct! This is what it is…and, as usual, California is leading the way, regarding the Marxist police state.

  • Speaking for all American truckers. This woman cop should be locked away and quarantined.

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  • Gordon Klock

    I seem to recall reading an article where the British motorway depatment, (or something like that), tested all manner off drugs & their effects on driving, & found that caffeine was actually fairly dangerous, especially compared to marijuana, which only showed a slightly slowed ‘response time’ (it was later found that this was due to ‘stoners’ doing things like looking both ways at a one way sign-apparently ‘stoners’ don’t trust ‘objective reality’), but either way, that still doesn’t excuse the blatantly arbitrary behavior of this clearly overzealous cop, or her department, etc, with their bald-faced, institutional, malevolence towards this person……(exactly how much caffeine was in HER system at the time of arrest ?)…

  • vegas jack

    When the shit hits the fan, cops have no one but themselves to blame…

  • Francis

    Had he been stoned out of his mind there wouldn’t have been a problem. Or a couple of naked children in the back seat. He could claim to be going to a party for Hillary

  • Francis

    Gee officer your eyes look glazed, Have you been eating donuts.

  • Ahmed F. Hosny

    Are White Cells acceptable in our blood?

  • Nishi

    This is so bizarre that it’s hard to believe it’s true.

  • alan_1969

    If this case sticks, I know a lot of police officers that can be charged with driving under the influence of caffeine and sugar highs.

  • Mick Price

    The California legal code specifies that a “drug” is any substance other than alcohol that could impair a person’s driving, but there is no precedent for caffeine negatively affecting a person’s ability to drive.”

    Under that definition WATER is a drug, too much of it can cause you to lose consciousness which impairs drving.

  • Whathe Heck

    Kalifornians have nobody to blame but themselves for continuing to vote in heavy-handed, big government Democrats who want total control over every minute aspect of your life.

  • Ricky

    We should start a Gofundme for this guy so he could have enough money to sue the officer. The only way we can actually make a difference is if we help each other out.

  • db

    EVERY penny that the defendant had to fork out for his defense, towing/impound, and EVERY penny he lost taking time off work for court should be taken out of that cunt sow pig’s fat retirement. If there’s not enough there then take it out of her hide pimping her to winos.

    He’s dam lucky they couldn’t fake “evidence” when they took him to have his blood drawn. We know the sow would have lied it through court if her testimony was the only “evidence”.

    Almost 30 years ago, I had a contra Costa County sheriff narc on my ass. I had outbid him (Robert Bradshaw) and his whore wife Sandy for a house in between their two in Martinez Ca. I’m lucky to be free and alive but it took a year and a half of hell and a real hero to get the bullshit stopped. When one of the badged, armed and uniformed shit/scum pigs has a hardon for you, it can be bad.

  • J11

    they should charge that DA with practicing the law under the influence and reckless practicing of law. Another example of government over reach and abuse of the law.