A Gainesville Police Department officer heard a vehicle spinning its tires and observed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. The officer conducted a traffic stop and observed that the driver had glassy eyes and the smell of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his person. The driver stated he had two glasses of wine. The officer called for backup and another officer came to conduct the DUI investigation. The second officer noted a moderate odor of alcohol emitting from his person and breath and that the driver had glassy, watery, bloodshot eyes. The driver also mumbled when he spoke. The officer conducted field sobriety exercises and the driver performed poorly.
During the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the driver lacked smooth pursuit in both eyes and exhibited jerking at maximum deviation and prior to 45 degrees. The driver took too many steps on the walk-and-turn exercise and did not turn properly. During the one leg stand, the driver swayed and was nine seconds short of the normal count. The driver missed the finger to nose and failed to point forward on one attempt. The driver had a learner’s license and but was not accompanied by a licensed driver. The driver was arrested and following implied consent agreed to provide breath samples. The driver blew 0.126g/210L and 0.121g/210L.
The driver retained Meldon Law and we were able to enroll the driver in the deferred prosecution program. Unfortunately, the driver received another traffic citation after beginning the deferred prosecution program and was dropped from the program. The State Attorney’s office began to pursue prosecution again and we filed a motion to suppress evidence. Ultimately, we were able to negotiate a plea arrangement with the State Attorney’s office for the reduced charge of reckless driving with alcohol. This greatly reduced the penalties from the original charge of DUI. As a part of the agreement, the State Attorney’s office dropped all other charges associated with this case.