Deputies in Manatee County say that law enforcement received several reports of an alleged erratic driver traveling on Interstate 75 Friday night. Deputies responded to the area near Moccasin Willow and located a car that officials believe could be linked to the phoned-in reports.
Law enforcement claims that the deputies observed behavior that Manatee County officials characterize as a weaving automobile. Ultimately, a 34-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
However, officials claim that the driver did not stop when law enforcement first attempted to pull over the vehicle. The sheriff's office claims that some kind of pursuit occurred after deputies tried to initiate a traffic stop. But the pursuit apparently was not what you would call a high speed police chase. Rather, deputies claim that the driver led a chase, driving at times as slow as 20 miles per hour.
Law enforcement claims that the woman eventually pulled over near the State Road 64 exit. Deputies called in a traffic unit to investigate the driver for an alleged DUI offense. The 34-year-old Riverview, Florida woman was arrested on suspicion of DUI. She was booked into the Manatee County Jail, and later released on $500 bond.
News reports suggest that the Clearwater woman was previously accused of DUI more than a decade ago in Tampa.
Generally, Florida DUI laws contain provisions that increase the penalties for repeat DUI offenses, and other provisions that can enhance the offense for higher blood alcohol readings. The laws are complicated, and a repeat offense may bring differing potential penalties based upon the timing of a prior DUI conviction.
When facing any level of DUI charge, a person's driver's license may be in jeopardy. Driver's license suspensions are handled separately from the criminal charges. It is important for anyone suspected of a DUI offense to seek the advice of a Fort Myers DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible after DUI allegations arise to protect rights in court.
- Bradenton Patch, "Drivers Call in About Suspected DUI on I-75," Toni Whitt, Feb. 3, 2013
- My Fox Tampa Bay, "Riverview woman arrested on DUI charge in Manatee County," Feb. 2, 2013