A Gainesville Police Department officer was passed by a vehicle that was then clocked traveling 56mph in a 45mph speed zone. The vehicle made several unexpected lane changes and turns, causing other traffic on the road to have to break unexpectedly. The officer conducted a traffic stop and ordered the driver out of the vehicle. When the driver exited, he staggered into the traffic lane. The officer repeated his order to come to the curb and the driver staggered towards the officer. The officer asked why his driving was so erratic and the driver responded that he was verbally fighting with his girlfriend who was in the passenger seat, causing him to drive in anger. The officer noticed a very strong odor of alcohol on the driver’s breath and the driver admitted to consuming six or eight drinks. The officer called for assistance to conduct field sobriety exercises.
When backup officers arrived, the driver submitted to field sobriety exercises. The backup officer noticed that the driver’s eyes were glassy, watery, and bloodshot. During the HGN test the driver had a lack of smooth pursuit in both eyes and had a distinct nystagmus in both eyes. During the walk and turn, the driver was unable to maintain his balance, stepped off the line multiple times, missed steps, and was generally unable to follow directions. The driver refused to complete the finger to nose test, became verbally aggressive, and became a safety concern. The driver was placed under arrest. Following implied consent, the driver refused to submit to a breath test.
The driver received a citation for unlawful speed and was charged with DUI. After hiring Meldon Law, we were able to negotiate a plea deal that allowed the driver to accept the minimum penalties associated with a DUI.