A Gainesville Police Department officer observed two vehicles turning while squealing their tires and accelerating sporadically. The officer stopped the driver, who said he was driving in that manner to show off his car and “impress” a fellow co-worker who had been following him. The officer noticed that the driver had difficulty answering questions, exhibited dilated pupils, and had slurred speech. The driver denied having any alcohol that evening, but consented to field sobriety exercises.
During the HGN exercise, he displayed lack of smooth pursuit, distinct nystagmus at maximum deviation, and onset of nystagmus prior to 45 degrees in both eyes. He took an incorrect number of steps, lost his balance, and performed an incorrect turn during the walk-and-turn exercise. He also swayed and placed his foot down at least 3 times during the one-leg stand and failed to keep his eyes closed or touch the tip of his nose with his finger during the finger-to-nose exercise.
The driver was arrested for DUI, but refused to provide a breath sample. (Date of Arrest: November 6, 2011) Attorneys at Meldon Law successfully petitioned for the driver’s admittance into the Deferred Prosecution program. Attorneys also obtained a modification in the terms of the Deferred Prosecution agreement, whereby the driver could continue working as a bartender. Upon completing DUI school and community service hours and paying fines, the driver’s charge was reduced from DUI to Reckless Driving with Alcohol.