Judge: 20 Minutes Too Long for Cop to Decide to Write Ticket

Federal judge throws out evidence because a Utah state trooper took to long to write a ticket


A federal judge last week threw out the evidence against a Utah motorist because the highway patrol trooper took twenty minutes to decide whether to write the citation. Trooper Nicholas Berrie was on duty near Kanab, Utah around midnight on October 17, 2011 when another trooper told him to look out for a Dodge Avenger as a "vehicle of interest." He soon spotted an Avenger being driven by Beatriz Prado at an alleged 67 MPH in a 65 MPH zone.

Prado slowed to 55 MPH, signaled to turn off the highway, but allegedly did not signal befpre turning into a gas station. That was enough to perform a traffic stop. In the parking lot, Berrie spoke to Prado and her passenger, Guadalupe Rojas-Soto. He ordered Prado out of the car for extensive questioning. Berrie became suspicious when he testified that Prado said she was returning from Phoenix and, according to his recollection, "she had gone down there for two days." This conflicted with the passenger's description of a four-day stay. The court noted the dashcam video recorded Prado had actually said she was there "Tuesday through Friday, Saturday and left Sunday coming back."