Off-Duty Seminole County Police Officer Charged with DUI After Being Found Passed Out Behind the Wheel
Police arrested an off-duty Seminole County police officer after they found her passed out behind the wheel of her vehicle while intoxicated. Just before 1 a.m., police found the 29-year-old officer asleep in her personal vehicle at the intersection of East Taylor Road and South Woodland Boulevard according to the arrest report. Body-camera video shows the officer attempting to wake the defendant up by knocking on the window several times. When that didn’t work, the officer began pounding on the roof of her car. When the defendant finally woke up, the car was still in drive. It moved forward and struck a parked police vehicle. The officer could be heard yelling “Put the car in park!” The police car was parked in front of the defendant’s car to prevent it from rolling forward into the intersection when the defendant finally woke up. The officer informed the defendant that she had passed out behind the wheel of her car at an intersection. The defendant officer denied having passed out in her car, even after her vehicle crashed into the police car.
Police suspect that the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol. Officers detected a “strong odor of a fruity alcoholic beverage emitting from her breath.” They found three empty White Claw beverage cans inside of her vehicle. The defendant was arrested and charged with DUI and cited for careless driving. The defendant refused both a breathalyzer test and a field sobriety exam. She spent a few hours in the Volusia County Jail before she bonded out. The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of her case.
At the same time that police were arresting the officer for falling asleep behind the wheel, another vehicle crashed into one of their squad cars. This defendant was also charged with DUI and both drivers could face an additional charge of DUI causing property damage.
DUI causing property damage
DUI causing property damage is charged when a defendant meets all the criteria for a DUI charge and causes property damage to someone else’s property. This can include public property like a police vehicle. In this case, you have one driver who is passed out at an intersection, who, upon waking up, rolls her vehicle into a police car. Another driver smashes into a patrol car while driving through the intersection. In both cases, the drivers caused some level of property damage to police vehicles.
The crime of DUI with property damage is considered a first-degree misdemeanor under Florida law. Simple DUI is considered a second-degree misdemeanor, a lesser offense.
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FL DUI Group represents the interests of Orlando residents who are facing DUI or DUI-related criminal offenses. If you have been charged with DUI or any related offense, call our Florida DUI defense attorneys today to schedule an appointment and we can begin going over your options right away.