A driver was observed a witness who was walking on the side of the road when he heard a noise. The witness observed the driver driving without a front passenger wheel. A second witness, who was walking with the first, advised that he heard a loud pop and saw the vehicle driving in an unstable manner. He flagged the driver down and told her to pull into a local business parking lot. The witness stated that he saw sparks coming from the vehicle as it drove. Both witnesses positively identified the driver.
Emergency Medical Services was called to the scene. The driver became very irate and uncooperative. The driver had significant facial injuries, including broken front teeth and a large cut to her bottom lip. She was bleeding continuously on the scene and at the hospital. While at the hospital, the driver’s behavior was uncooperative and borderline combative with nurses and doctors. The driver had severe and frequent mood swings while at the hospital, going from calm and collected to irate and verbally combative.
A Gainesville Police Department officer observed bloodshot and watery eyes and the driver spoke with a slur. Her speech was also sometimes mumbled and unintelligible. The emergency room filled with the odor of an alcoholic beverage. The driver was read implied consent and a blood sample was requested. The driver was very irate when she was asked to sign the consent form, but eventually signed. The blood alcohol results revealed the blood alcohol content to be 0.223g/100mL and 0.224g/100mL. The driver was charged with DUI based on these facts and an additional citation for Careless Driving was issued.
The driver retained Meldon Law to assist with her case. When the state notified the driver that they would request her medical records, we immediately filed an objection and requested a hearing for that request. Ultimately, we were able to negotiate with the State Attorney’s office to allow the driver to plea to the charge of DUI Above .08 but Below .15 despite the high blood alcohol test results. We were able to reduce the cost of supervised probation and eliminate the jail time that the state initially requested. Following the sentencing, the Clerk of the Court was unable to dismiss the careless driving citation because a ruling on the initial motion to consolidate had not been entered. We filed a subsequent motion to correct this issue. The court granted our motion to consolidate the citation into the DUI case and also granted our motion to dismiss that citation as a result of the plea agreement.