A Gainesville Police Department officer observed a vehicle swerve, hit a curb, and stop in the middle of the road. Upon making contact with the driver, the officer noted that the driver smelled of alcohol, had watery and glassy eyes, and was unsteady on his feet. The driver admitted to drinking six beers in the last two hours, but agreed to perform field sobriety exercises. During the HGN test, the driver exhibited lack of smooth pursuit and distinct jerking in both eyes. He failed to maintain his balance, count his steps, and stay on the line during the walk-and-turn exercise.
The driver swayed and placed his foot down during the one-leg stand and forgot to keep his eyes closed and missed touching the tip of his nose during the finger-to-test exercise. He was then arrested for DUI. He provided two breath samples of .211 each and later admitted to drinking seven or eight beers at his place of employment before driving. A search of the driver’s car revealed several crushed Busch Light beer cans in the bed of the driver’s truck.
The State offered the driver a plea bargain including probation, fines, jail, DUI school, and 5 years of license suspension. Attorneys at Meldon Law advocated for the driver, and he received the lesser sentence of DUI Above .08g/210L but below .15g/210L, despite the high levels of alcohol in his breath samples. The court granted a substitution of inpatient substance abuse treatment for jail time and the driver’s probation was terminated after the driver successfully completed his treatment, fines, and DUI school.