Washington State Woman Arrested for DUI Diagnosed with Brain Bleed

Nicole McClure’s life took an unexpected turn while driving home from her night shift job at Walmart, when she experienced a loss in direction and her feet started tingling. Oblivious of a highway patrol car behind her, she got into multiple collisions before pulling over.

Despite feeling unwell, a state trooper who had followed her assumed she had been drinking or using drugs and she was arrested for DUI. This marked the start of an over 24-hour long ordeal in the criminal justice system while she was in dire need of medical attention.

During her stay in jail, Ms. McClure was labeled as drunk and ignored, despite needing immediate medical care. Medical attention only came when doctors found out she had a brain bleed and rushed her into surgery.

In-depth records, interviews, and Ms. McClure’s lawsuit revealed the impact of quick judgments by law enforcement during traffic stops. A balance is needed between recognizing indications of substance use and potential medical crises.

Despite better training for officers to recognize signs of being under the influence or medical problems, there are still cases of wrongful arrest with fatal consequences. Seth Stoughton, a law professor, emphasized that while officers aren’t medical experts, they should be trained to notice signs of medical problems.

After her erratic drive, Ms. McClure insisted she wasn’t drunk but unwell. Despite her claims, the officers saw otherwise. In jail, guards made fun of her, thinking she was intoxicated. She was determined to be clean after a toxicology report.

Ms. McClure was finally attended to medically after spending over 24 hours in jail and she was then diagnosed with a brain bleed. The delay in medical attention allegedly worsened her condition and resulted in lasting damage, which forms the basis of her lawsuit.

She now lives with a “lifetime of decreased capacity” and struggles with mundane tasks such as remembering medical appointments or finding her own way home. She lives in fear and is reluctant to step out alone.

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