Police in Fort Walton, Florida recently made a traffic stop on allegations that a 32-year-old driver was speeding. After approaching the car, officers say that they learned that the man behind the wheel was driving with a suspended license. It is not clear from the media what basis the driver's license had been suspended. Officials merely state that the man admitted that his privilege to drive had been suspended numerous times in Florida and Michigan.
Police claim the traffic stop originated after the man was driving 53 miles per hour in a zone posted with a 35 mile per hour limit. But, the alleged speeding, and driving with a suspended license, violations are not the only legal issues the man now faces. Now he is facing Florida drug charges.
The officer claims that a glass mason jar was found behind the driver's seat during the encounter. Authorities claim that the jar contained marijuana. Law enforcement says that the driver admitted that he smokes pot, but told police that the jar was the only thing that the police would find in the vehicle.
The man is now accused of possession of a controlled substance. It is not clear in the media how officers found the alleged jar of marijuana in the car during the October 25 traffic stop.
Anyone accused of a crime has the right to defend against the allegations in criminal court. It is important to note that Florida law has many avenues for the state to suspend or revoke a license. For instance, license suspension is likely after an arrest for an alleged drunk driving violation in Florida. A person can raise a challenge to the suspension in a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles. That challenge is separate from the criminal case.
Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, "Driver announces he smokes weed after officers find jarful," Nov. 13, 2012