A ‘Be on the Lookout’ was issued regarding a possible impaired driver. The report came from a witness who was following the driver and speaking to Florida Highway Patrol dispatch via cell phone. A Florida Highway Patrol officer was able to catch up to the vehicle and observed the right turn signal activated. The witness informed Highway Patrol that the officer was observing the correct vehicle. The officer saw the vehicle drift onto the right emergency lane and back to the left center lane, causing a great deal of concern for safety. The officer initiated a stop and when he made contact with the driver, he noticed a moderate odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the driver. The driver seemed carefree and stated she was not a very good driver. The officer requested the driver exit the vehicle and when she did so the officer noticed that she had urinated herself.
The officer conducted field sobriety exercises and the driver performed poorly. During the horizontal gaze nystagmus the driver turned her head and at full deviation her eyes were jumpy and lacked smooth pursuit. The driver did not follow directions properly for the one leg stand, extending her leg too high and using her arms for balance. The driver failed to keep her eyes closed and did not speak the alphabet properly during the alphabet exercise. The officer, based on his observations, concluded that the driver was under the influence of alcoholic beverages and placed her under arrest. The driver attempted to perform a breath test, but failed to follow the directions properly, resulting in reduced analysis result. The results were 0.078g/210L and 0.077g/210L
The driver retained Meldon Law to assist with this matter. After filing a Motion to Suppress Evidence and a Memorandum of Law we were able to reach a negotiated plea offer with the State Attorney’s office. The driver pled no contest to the reduced charge of Reckless Driving with Alcohol and the court withheld adjudication on this charge. This resulted in greatly reduced penalties for the driver.