A Gainesville Police Department officer observed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. The vehicle was weaving in and out of traffic and was clocked at 51mph in a 30mph zone using radar. The officer followed the vehicle and again clocked it traveling at 55mph in a 45mph zone. The officer activated his emergency equipment and pulled the vehicle over. As soon as the officer made contact with the driver, he noticed a strong odor of alcohol emitting from the vehicle. The driver had glassy, watery, bloodshot eyes and mumbled speech. The driver was asked to exit his vehicle and participate in field sobriety exercises.
During the horizontal gaze nystagmus exercise, the driver had a lack of smooth pursuit in both eyes and his eyes jerked at maximum deviation and prior to 45 degrees. While the officer was giving directions to the walk and turn exercise, the driver fell off the line while standing still. The driver raised his arms for balance even though he was told not to. During the steps, the driver missed multiple steps and stopped to steady himself during the turn. During the one leg stand the driver swayed, raised his arms for balance, and counted the number “22” twice. During the finger to nose exercise the driver missed the tip of his finger to the tip of his nose on two attempts. The driver was arrested and provided two breath samples at 0.106g/210L and 0.106g/210L.
The driver retained Meldon Law and we were able to secure the driver’s placement in the deferred prosecution program. If the individual successfully completes the requirements of the deferred prosecution program, the DUI will be reduced to a charge of Reckless Driving with Alcohol, which has significantly lower penalties than a DUI conviction. The driver successfully completed the deferred prosecution program and was allowed to plead to the lowered charge of Reckless Driving with Alcohol.