A Gainesville Police Officer conducted a stop following a witness report that the driver was driving recklessly, nearly running two vehicles off the road. The driver was unable to provide a driver’s license to the officer. The driver provided the officer with other information and the officer was able to confirm his identity. The officer noted that the driver had two suspensions and verified those suspensions before placing the driver under arrest. Following the Miranda warning, the driver stated that he was unaware that his license was suspended. While the driver was talking, the officer noted a strong odor of alcohol coming from his breath. The driver’s face was flushed, his eyes were bloodshot and watery, and he had slurred speech. The driver stated that he slurs his words because he is slightly dyslexic.
The officer began a DUI investigation. The driver exhibited a distinct nystagmus at maximum deviation in both eyes during the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Exercise. During the one leg stand, the driver raised his arms above six inches for balance. During the walk and turn exercise, the driver missed steps, used his arms to balance, and executed improper turns. During the finger to nose exercise, the driver did not keep his eyes closed. The driver was placed under arrest and read implied consent but refused to provide a breath sample.
Eight days after this arrest, the driver was stopped for having a taillight out. That officer placed the driver under arrest for driving with a suspended license and discovered controlled substances and drug paraphernalia on his person.
After retaining Meldon Law we were able to negotiate with the State Attorney’s Office to reduce the sanctions for Driving While License Suspended, reduce the DUI charge to Reckless Driving, significantly reduce the fees associated with the charges, and the entire second set of charges (Driving While License Suspended and Possession of Controlled Substance) were dropped.