DUI & Criminal Division

The defendant was stopped for traveling 60 mph in a 45 mph zone. It took the defendant almost ¾ of a mile before he pulled over his vehicle from the time the officer initiated his emergency lights. Upon making contact with the Defendant, the officer immediately noted the odor of an alcoholic beverage. The Defendant stated he was coming from Clearwater and on his way to Tampa. The officer also noticed that the Defendant’s eyes were bloodshot and watery and his speech was mumbled. The officer called for a DUI investigator based on his observations. The DUI officer arrived and made similar observations as the initial officer. The Defendant was asked to exit his vehicle and he had difficulty opening the door. The Defendant swayed while he stood and continued to talk with a very thick tongue, creating a mumbled slur to his words. The Defendant agreed to perform field sobriety exercises, but alerted the officers to a torn ACL in his right knee. During the walk and turn test, the Defendant became uncooperative and requested to see the officer complete the exercise. When the officer refused, the Defendant said, “just take me to jail and arrest me for DUI.” The Defendant then agreed to perform the exercise after being advised that refusal to do the test could be held against him. The Defendant did not perform the test to the satisfaction of the officer. The Defendant also performed the finger to nose test, which also indicated impairment. The Defendant was placed under arrest for DUI. A search of his vehicle revealed a red cup stuffed between the passenger seat and center console. The cup had ice cubes and a liquid that smelled like vodka. An open bottle of vodka was also found on the floor in the back seat. Result: The DUI charge was dropped and the open container and speeding tickets were dismissed.