Gainesville Police Department Traffic Stop, Drug Charge Reduced to DUI
A Gainesville Police Department officer observed an SUV weaving across three lanes of travel and weaving within its lane. The officer effected a traffic stop and noticed the strong odor of burnt cannabis coming from the car. When asked, the driver said that there was cannabis in the vehicle. The office asked three other passengers to exit the car and at the driver’s direction found cannabis in a jacket on the rear floor board, a bag of cannabis under the front seat, and a tobacco pipe with cannabis on the rear floor board.
After being read his Miranda rights, the driver admitted that the cannabis was his, and said that he had smoked about an hour ago. He consented to field sobriety exercises. The officer reported that the driver didn’t display a lack of smooth pursuit or vertical nystagmus, but that the driver had glassy and watery eyes. The driver swayed, exhibited eyelid tremors, and estimated 33 seconds at 30 seconds during the Romberg Balance exercise. He missed the heel-to-toe pattern and performed an incorrect turn during the walk-and-turn exercise. He also placed his foot on the ground, had “body tremors” during the one-leg stand, and missed touching the tip of his nose during the finger-to-nose test.
The officer arrested the driver and requested a urine sample, to which the driver consented. (Date of Arrest: October 22, 2011) Cannabis was detected in the sample. The driver retained Meldon Law and secured a Nolle Prosequi on the drug charges in exchange for the driver pleading guilty to DUI. Additionally, although the original sentenced required a year of probation, the court agreed to early termination after only six months.