A Gainesville Police Department officer saw a vehicle drifting in lane. As the officer followed the vehicle he observed it drifting over the lane marker multiple times. The vehicle was stopped and when the officer made contact with the driver he noticed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from the driver’s window area. The driver was asked to exit the vehicle, which she did unsteadily. The driver did not have her driver’s license and informed the officer that she believed that a local bar had the license. The driver admitted to having one drink and had watery, red, bloodshot eyes. The driver consented to field sobriety exercises and informed the officer that, although she had a prior DUI conviction, she was not intoxicated at the moment.
During the horizontal gaze nystagmus test the driver lacked smooth pursuit with both eyes and moved her head. She was unable to hold her eyes at maximum deviation and swayed during the exercise. During the walk and turn exercise the driver failed to maintain the starting position during the directions, swayed, and used her arms for balance. She missed heel to toe steps on every step and failed to take the proper number of steps. The driver used her arms for balance and placed her foot down three times during the one leg stand exercise. During the finger to nose exercise the driver placed her whole hand on her face trying to find her nose. The driver was arrested and read implied consent. She blew 0.157g/210L and 0.162g/.210L and received citations for DUI and failure to maintain a single lane.
The driver retained Meldon Law and we were able to negotiate with the State Attorney’s Office a favorable plea deal which reduced the fines by $1000 and reduced the time for a vehicle ignition interlock device by one year. Despite pleading guilty to a previous DUI in 2010, the driver was able to avoid jail time.