Charles L. Truncale
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Police claim drunk driver dropped child off at school

A 911 call summoned law enforcement to the vicinity of Trinity Church on Spring Lake Road to investigate an erratic driver in Lake County. A Fruitland Park police officer responding to the scene found a man slumped at the wheel of a stationary white Chevy. According to the police report, the driver woke up, put the vehicle into gear and drove into a wooden fence. The man became belligerent with the police, but law enforcement managed to perform a breath test on him that produced a blood alcohol level of .233, which is substantially higher than the Florida legal limit of .08.

Witnesses interviewed by police officers described the man's actions prior to their arrival. They reported that a child exited his vehicle and entered the nearby school. Before dropping off the child, three vehicles barely avoided head-on collisions with the white Chevy.

Police observed damage on the Chevy although the driver denied being in an accident. Officers reported that he had red eyes and slurred speech. Authorities filed criminal charges against the man for child neglect and causing property damage while driving under the influence. After he was taken into custody, court records revealed that he had pleaded guilty to a DUI offense in 2016. A person accused of drunk driving could discuss options for a DUI defense with an attorney. To prevent or limit fines and other penalties, an attorney might examine the circumstances of the traffic stop. Procedural errors during a field sobriety test might undermine evidence about intoxication and enable the dismissal of charges. When evidence stands, an attorney could negotiate a plea deal that might replace jail time with an alcohol education program.

Source: News 6, "Florida man dropping off child at school had .233 BAC, police say", Feb. 1, 2018

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