Iowa man sues after passing sobriety tests and being arrested for OWI

Iowa man sues after passing sobriety tests and being arrested for OWI

The city of Winterset is being sued for arresting a man on an intoxicated driving charge after he passed field sobriety tests, two blood-alcohol tests and a drug screen.

Ryan P. Elgin, 42, of Adair County is suing the City of Winterset and Winterset Police Officer Logan Camp for false arrest, unreasonable seizure and common law negligence. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, is seeking unspecified damages.

Elgin alleges that he was driving through Winterset shortly after 9 p.m. on Oct. 15, 2022, along with a woman, Becky Oltmann, and Oltmann’s child, when he was pulled over by Camp.

The lawsuit claims Camp did not observe any traffic violations and or equipment violations that would have justified the stop. Elgin submitted to standardized field sobriety tests, such as the horizontal gaze test, the walk-and-turn test and the one-legged stand test, and allegedly displayed no signs of intoxication.

Elgin then submitted to a preliminary breath test which indicated a blood-alcohol concentration of .047, well below the legal limit of .08. Camp then detained Elgin for the purpose of conducting additional testing at the Madison County Law Enforcement Center. While there, Elgin consented to a second breath test which indicated a blood-alcohol level of .037, the lawsuit claims.

Camp then asked Elgin to provide a urine sample for a drug screen. Elgin complied and was released from custody shortly before 11 p.m. Police records indicate that within an hour, and before the results of the urine test were known, Camp notified the Iowa Department of Human Services of the potential child-endangerment charge, and the state agency initiated an investigation.

Two months later, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s laboratory reported that a chemical analysis of Elgin’s urine showed the presence of Citalopram, a drug used to treat depression, which was consistent with Elgin’s admitted use of the physician-prescribed medication. The report indicated there were no controlled substances in Elgin’s urine.

Police records show that after consulting with his supervisor, Camp obtained an arrest warrant for Elgin on charges of operating a vehicle while under the influence (OWI) and child endangerment. According to the lawsuit, Camp then informed the Iowa Department of Transportation that Elgin had tested positive Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substances, and the DOT initiated a license-suspension proceeding seeking to revoke Elgin’s driving privileges for one year.

You can read the full article at the Iowa Capital Dispatch.