A Gainesville Police Department Officer responded to a report of a suspicious person and found the driver passed out in her vehicle in a parking garage. When the officer approached the vehicle the driver appeared unconscious in the driver’s seat and the vehicle was running and in drive. The driver was difficult to wake up. The officer noticed that the driver’s eyes were bloodshot, watery, and “droopy”. A second officer arrived on scene and observed a paper wristband on the driver’s wrist and noted that her shorts were unzipped. The driver had a strong odor of alcohol coming from her breath and had random outbursts of screaming and cursing. There was significant, recent damage to the driver’s vehicle but the driver could not recall how her car was damaged. Two other vehicles in the parking garage also had damage and paint transfer consistent with the damage to the driver’s vehicle. The driver had not left any insurance information for the two damaged vehicles. The driver consented to field sobriety exercise.
During the HGN exercise, the driver displayed a distinct and sustained nystagmus at maximum deviation in both eyes. During the walk and turn exercise, the driver began the exercise before the officer completed the directions, was unable to keep her balance, stepped off the line, missed steps, and executed improper turns. During the one leg stand, the driver raised her arms for balance and placed her foot down several times. During the finger to nose exercise, the driver failed to point forward and was unable to touch the tip of her nose. The driver was arrested for DUI and cited for careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. The driver refused to submit to a breath test.
The driver retained Meldon Law and we brought this case to trial. Several motions were filed to admit medical evidence and to exclude a recorded telephone call made by the driver from jail. Ultimately, the jury found the driver guilty. However she received the minimal sentence and the court dismissed her citation for reckless driving.