Can You Get Arrested for Drinking Coffee and Driving? | Soshal Network, Social Circle Connection

Can You Get Arrested for Drinking Coffee and Driving?


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A man is facing charges for driving under the influence after police did multiple tests and found no illegal drugs or alcohol but found caffeine. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian of The Young Turks discuss driving while caffeinated. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

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"A California man is in the midst of a lengthy legal battle following a driving under the influence charge that was issued almost 18 months ago for operating a car while under the influence of caffeine, reports said. I'm sorry, did we miss something? When did it become illegal to drive after consuming some espresso?

Joseph Schwab, 36, was pulled over on August 5, 2015, by a California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control agent in an unmarked car who claimed the 36-year-old had cut her off and was driving erratically, The Guardian reported. The agent administered a breathalyzer test which displayed a 0.00% blood alcohol level, according to Schwab's lawyer. After that test, Schwab was put into county jail and had his blood taken for an addition toxicology test. The following report concluded that he had no illegal drugs in his system."*

Hosts: Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian
Cast: Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian


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  1. Posted by 228allday, at Reply

    Decaf defeats the purpose of coffee

    • Posted by Azuleé Iñaki, at Reply


    • Posted by Darthmufin, at Reply

      Personally, coffee makes me tired and sluggish, so i drink it because i
      like the taste. so decaf actually does not defeat the purpose, for some

    • Posted by 228allday, at Reply

      I never knew coffee could make you tired lol other than a caffeine crash

    • Posted by Darthmufin, at Reply

      I drank coffee since i was about 14 years old and it would only take a few
      cups to keep me awake, and i usually never crashed. Then i started drinking
      more after i graduated from high school, and ever since then if i drink
      more than one cup, i get really sluggish and tired. Besides having to get
      up and pee a ton, i could drink an entire 12 cup pot and go right to bed no
      sweat. It’s kinda funny.

    • Posted by 228allday, at Reply

      I believe you, everyone’s body reacts differently to things

  2. Posted by madjimms, at Reply

    Hope the judge throws this out..

    • Posted by Hugh Mungus, at Reply

      Take it to court and win, then sue afterwards. Reverse the precedent they
      are trying to set. This is actually a pretty scary thing if you think about

    • Posted by Zelda Williams, at Reply

      +Hugh Mungus yes, I’ve never heard of anything so ridiculous in my life!

    • Posted by Hugh Mungus, at Reply

      +Zelda Williams If the guy goes to court and fights this charge he will
      most likely win. That in itself will set the opposite precedent that these
      police are trying to inflict. If this man is successfully prosecuted it
      will set a precedent that drivers can be criminalized for legal activities.
      I know it is kind of a slippery slope argument, but if you understand how
      the creation of laws with existing legal precedents work, you would
      understand this is a pretty scary situation.

    • Posted by Carla Hooper, at Reply

      +Hugh Mungus You are absolutely correct. It IS a scary situation, and not
      one to just be laughed off, because of, as you said, the very real
      possibility that a precedent could be set. Almost everyone drinks some form
      of caffeine during the day, esp in the a.m. My preference is Dr.Pepper. If
      this guy is found guilty, cops will have free range to arrest almost
      everyone for DUI. What a money-maker that’d be for PD!

    • Posted by Hugh Mungus, at Reply

      +Carla Hooper I am glad someone understand some of what I said. Thanks

  3. Posted by MoppyPuppy, at Reply

    I drive home every day *under the influence* of Caffeine, given my
    circumstances its more unsafe *not* to.

    • Posted by Sundered Star, at Reply

      Do cocaine.

    • Posted by MoppyPuppy, at Reply

      +Sundered Star If the US government mandates 16-18 hour work days then I
      will definitely look into it.

  4. Posted by Pranay, at Reply

    The cop should be fired and she should have to pay all legal and court

    • Posted by A Rogue Chihuahua, at Reply


    • Posted by Ryan Walsh, at Reply

      The guy was driving erratically though so he shouldn’t go Scott-free

    • Posted by A Rogue Chihuahua, at Reply

      +Ryan Walsh Ticket

    • Posted by Ryan Walsh, at Reply

      +A Rogue Chihuahua yep, that’s what I was implying

  5. Posted by Josh S, at Reply
    • Posted by Ruben Cora, at Reply

      Wow thank you

  6. Posted by juan “wgjung” gomez, at Reply

    You can’t drink coffee now? What’s next?!? Are they going to ban drinking
    alcohol while driving!!? Smoking weed!?! Smoking meth!!?!? Doing cocaine!?!
    Doing some warm and wonderful heroin!?!? What kind of sadistic communist
    society are we living!?!?

    • Posted by Iron Bowtie, at Reply

      Nice off roading there. You should have said “What are they going to make
      criminal next? Staying up past your bedtime? Watching porn in your bedroom?
      Having dirty thoughts in general? Sex? Living as a human being?”

    • Posted by juan “wgjung” gomez, at Reply

      +Iron Bowtie I don’t know about that, all those things you mention are
      horrible, people should be in prison or in a mental institution for doing
      that. Very scary things.

  7. Posted by Lexi E, at Reply

    Why didn’t he just get charged with driving erratically and no dui

    • Posted by Lexi E, at Reply

      Oh wait, just found out that is what happened from another source. Come on
      tyt, I’d appreciate more details on the actual content of the story. You
      guys flip into commentary too soon sometimes

    • Posted by Raizhen010, at Reply

      I take it you got that from Snopes? The DUI charge was dropped after the
      outrage. That was only announced recently, hence TYT not being up to date.
      Snopes also idiotically rated the story as false because of that charge
      being dropped, even though the man was in fact charged for a DUI despite
      only having caffeine in his system. They did the same thing with the story
      about police raising hoods to block dash cams. They rated it as false
      simply because the police said they raise the hoods to prevent cars from
      overheating, something that I have never heard of, ever. Snopes is
      constantly taking the establishment at their word. Not to say they don’t do
      good work, but their adherence to authority is beyond absurd.

    • Posted by Aaron Hoy, at Reply

      +Raizhen010 +Lexi E
      Yeah I just checked out the Snopes article you mentioned Raizhen010 and I
      read about this story the other day from a wholly different source than
      both snopes and the free thought project they use as their source. In the
      story I had read came from the Guardian.

      They said that after the first toxicology report came back negative for all
      the normal stuff the police had the sample screened by a laboratory in
      Pennsylvania where they found the positive result for caffeine (and this
      according to legal documents the Guardian received.) It also quoted Sharon
      Henry, the chief deputy district attorney, saying they were “conducting
      further investigation in this matter” and saying, “the charge of driving
      under the influence is not based upon the presence of caffeine in his
      system.” The person’s defense attorney, Stacey Barrett, 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 have I received any
      statements, reports, etc… documenting any ongoing investigation since the
      [toxicology report] dated 18 November 2015.”

      So the guy definitely was charged with a DUI for caffeine originally.
      Though Snopes cleverly ended their article by saying they did not
      “prosecute him…” which is not what anyone, including the source Snopes
      used, claimed as even the Snopes article says when it states the claim as
      “A man was charged with a DUI for drinking too much caffeine”. Being
      charged and being prosecuted are 2 entirely different things. But I do
      agree with Lexi E in that there was a fair bit more factual information
      that would have been useful to share for people who had not known about
      this already and they did jump too quickly into commentary.

  8. Posted by dragonman 42, at Reply

    UPDATE: Because of prosecutors’ previous statements and the fact they
    dropped the DUI charge despite finding caffeine present in Schwab’s blood,
    they did not prosecute him over accusations he had been drinking coffee and
    driving. Schwab will still face one count of reckless driving.

    • Posted by Gyva02, at Reply

      Zero journalism, they just run with other peoples headlines…

    • Posted by daniel57 Rektum, at Reply

      dragonman 42 Your statement of an update is not in the article you cited, I
      read it. Maybe they took it out but what you said in your comment is not in
      the article now.

    • Posted by daniel57 Rektum, at Reply


  9. Posted by Curtis Smale, at Reply

    You sure the guy wasn’t just driving like a prick because he was super
    wired? I don’t think the coffee was the problem. I think he may have been
    driving in the manner a drunk does because maybe he was super tired and
    using excessive coffee to stay lucid.

    • Posted by TP, at Reply

      Curtis Smale I cut off people a lot of time it’s not because of caffeine or
      tiredness a lot of ppl drive that way

    • Posted by Curtis Smale, at Reply

      So we’re just *assuming* it was because a driver cut off a cop? I’d prefer
      not to make assumptions.

    • Posted by TP, at Reply

      Curtis Smale we r not assuming the officer said he made the initial stop
      because he cut him off which is legal btw why he arrested him afterwards we
      can only assume because they r testing him for drugs and he is coming back
      negative and the cops aren’t giving more information he might have done
      something else we need to wait to know but for now on the info we have its
      smells fishy

    • Posted by Curtis Smale, at Reply

      Most cop cars have cameras, if it was just a cut off then the charges will
      change, probably ‘reckless’ at best. I’m guessing that the reason things
      have gone as far as they have is that something else we don’t know about is
      at play. There’s no way impaired driving charges aren’t dropped once the
      tests come back negative unless something weird is going on.

  10. Posted by I rock prada, at Reply

    *cop flashes lights and walks up to car*
    Cop: sir how u doing today? Do u know why I pulled u over?

    Passenger: no sir I do not.

    Cop: sir what kind of sugar is that?

    Passenger: Splenda .

    Cop: ok step out the car I’m going to need to see your hands, your under

    • Posted by TheSmilodon85, at Reply


    • Posted by Carla Hooper, at Reply

      Yep, sugar is a stimulant of sorts. And what about that Tryptophan in
      Turkey? No ‘driving-home-from-Grandma’s’ after Thanksgiving dinner! A DUI
      for you, and a Public Intox charge for the kids!

  11. Posted by Appalling68, at Reply

    The United Police-States of America. I am SO GLAD I do not live in the U.S.
    anymore. What a sick, pathetic society it has become.

    • Posted by Mark Lister, at Reply

      Appalling68 I’m also glad i don’t live in America. Where do you live now?

    • Posted by T.C. Samuels, at Reply

      You are so lucky to not live in the US anymore because now we have Donald
      Trump for president and it’s all downhill after this

  12. Posted by writerconsidered, at Reply

    short version by snopes is the dui was dropped and he was charged with
    reckless driving.

    • Posted by The Blackfish, at Reply

      writerconsidered longer version is they’re still trying to get him on DUI
      but they’re trying to decide what substance.

    • Posted by writerconsidered, at Reply

      +The Blackfish Scroll down and find the snopes article and read it.

  13. Posted by Branfaol1, at Reply

    Wow talking about trying to justify a arrest!

    • Posted by John Butts, at Reply

      Yeppers! Unlawful detainment. Like I said above the guy probably wasn’t
      ecstatic to be detained for no reason so the arrested him and tried to find
      anything they could to justify it.

  14. Posted by ndyt, at Reply

    COPs are our wardens. We are their prisoners. We step out of their line,
    they will punish us. That’s the state of things.

    • Posted by The Ace, at Reply

      ndyt when’s the last time a cop was unfair to you

    • Posted by Ahlamkin, at Reply

      clovehitch read my post. It happened about a year ago when I temporarily
      took over my grandmother’s ’90 lincoln. I was followed closely and often,
      and was pulled over for a bullshit excuse. Only happened with that car…

    • Posted by The Ace, at Reply

      Ahlamkin That settles it. Cops are prejudice against lincolns.

  15. Posted by Ahlamkin, at Reply

    Sounds like he cut her off, maybe, and she decided to abuse her power…

    • Posted by Ahlamkin, at Reply

      I mean, if you have to do THAT extensive of testing to try and prove
      someone is on drugs, youre just looking to abuse your power. And people
      wonder why the cops are being trusted like they used to be…hell, I was
      pulled over in my beat up car for “running a yield sign”… I had to
      seriously look up the laws with yield signs because that cop had me all
      kinds of fucked up. Got a warning, probably because Im white and he knew I
      would fight whatever ticket he tried to give me, and win, because what I
      did was perfectly legal by my states laws, i.e., no, you DONT have to come
      to a complete stop to pass through a yield sign with NO oncoming traffic,
      but still! These kinds of interactions leave marks on our brains that teach
      us theyre NOT that trustworthy and honest. Its sad they refuse to try and
      change this image, also, as it is becoming more of a problem. Instead,
      would rather continue to instill authority, claiming fear.

    • Posted by Ahlamkin, at Reply

      One more thing Id like to add…so…did the cop have any mountain dew in
      her car?? In her system?? What about Coke? The drink, that is.

  16. Posted by Curtus Russell, at Reply

    Does this mean we can prosecute McDonalds for reckless endangerment when
    serving coffee via drive through windows?

    Asking for a friend…

    • Posted by urduib, at Reply

      Apparently yes. Like a bartender can be charged for serving alchohol and
      let the person drive away from the bar

  17. Posted by David Amrod, at Reply

    So why did she not just arrest him for erratic driving?

    • Posted by Daniel Giles, at Reply

      Because you can’t go by people accusing other people unless thier facts or
      video .