A driver side-swiped a vehicle while driving through a parking lot causing damage to both vehicles and thereafter left the scene. The victim, however, followed the driver and contacted law enforcement. Gainesville Police Department officers eventually initiated a traffic stop and found that the driver appeared “extremely intoxicated.” He almost fell from his vehicle, smelled of alcohol, and admitted to drinking beer that evening. However, the driver consented to field sobriety exercises.
During the HGN test, the driver exhibited a lack of smooth pursuit in both eyes and onset of nystagmus prior to 45 degrees in both eyes. During the walk-and-turn test, the driver stumbled, stepped off the line, and took too many steps. He placed his foot down several times during the one-leg stand and stumbled.
The driver was placed under arrest for DUI and provided three breath samples of .229g/210L, .195g/210L, and .234g/210L. (Date of Arrest: February 24, 2011) Following the reading of his Miranda rights, the driver admitted to having 4 or 5 beers that night. Despite the vehicle damage and high breath alcohol content, attorneys at Meldon Law negotiated with the State Attorney’s Office, which originally sought a plea deal including a guilty adjudication of DUI, DUI school, community service hours, and fines. However, the driver was able to plea to the lesser charge of DUI above .08g/210L but below .15g/210L.