A Gainesville Police Department officer responded to the scene of a vehicle crash to conduct a DUI investigation. Prior to the Gainesville Police Department officer’s arrival, another Gainesville Police Department officer heard the driver say, with slurred speech, “I can’t believe I did this to myself.” That Gainesville Police Department officer noticed the odor of an alcoholic beverage and the driver admitted to having three beers.
The responding Gainesville Police Department officer made contact with the driver and observed bloodshot, watery, glassy eyes and the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the driver’s mouth. The driver was staggering as she walked towards the officer’s patrol car. The driver again admitted to having consumed alcoholic beverages and the officer also noticed a bar wristband on the driver’s right wrist.
During the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the driver swayed back and forth during the instruction portion of the exercise. She lacked smooth pursuit in both eyes. She had jerky motions in her eyes and displayed a distinct and sustained nystagmus at maximum deviation in both eyes. The driver stated she would not pass during the walk and turn exercise. She started the exercise before being told to do so and stepped off the line multiple times. The driver missed steps, used her arms for balance, and did not execute a proper turn. During the one leg stand the driver was unable to maintain her balance without using her arms. She also put her foot down multiple times. During the finger to nose exercise the driver asked for the directions after her first attempt. The driver failed to point prior to touching her nose and missed the tip of her nose.
The driver was arrested for DUI and read implied consent. The driver refused to provide a breath sample.
The driver retained Meldon Law and we were able to negotiate with the State Attorney’s office to a DUI plea with minimal penalties. The original offer included a one year driver’s license suspension and $1,000 fine, but the suspension was reduced to 6 months and the fine to