A Gainesville Police Department officer was dispatched to a disabled vehicle with an unresponsive driver on the shoulder of a highway. The officer arrived on scene and observed a vehicle which had been driven off the roadway and onto a small embankment. The driver was still behind the wheel wearing his seatbelt and the vehicle’s motor was still running. The driver was disoriented and slow to react. When the officer asked for the driver’s license he was unable to find his wallet, which the officer observed was in his rear pocket. After further searching, the driver found his wallet but handed the officer a credit card. The officer handed the card back and requested the driver’s license again and the driver only located it after the officer pointed out where it was in the wallet. The driver had difficulty keeping his balance and had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath. The driver stated he had come from a local bar and was missing one shoe.
The driver agreed to field sobriety exercises and was transported to an appropriate location for the exercises. During the horizontal gaze nystagmus exercise he demonstrated a lack of smooth pursuit in both eyes and nystagmus in both eyes. The driver lost balance, used his arms, took the wrong number of steps, and improperly turned during the walk and turn exercise. During the one leg stand the driver used his arms for balance and exhibited orbital swaying. The driver was arrested and following implied consent agreed to submit to a breath test. The driver blew 0.148g/210L and 0.141g/210L.
The driver retained Meldon Law and we filed a Motion to Suppress evidence and a Memorandum of Law to the court. Ultimately, we were able to negotiate with the State Attorney’s office to allow the driver to receive the minimum penalties for his DUI conviction.