A 61-year-old Florida man has been placed on administrative leave by the City of North Port following an alleged drunk driving incident on Jan. 6. The man, who holds a senior position with the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development Services, was taken into custody after deputies with the Sarasota Sheriff’s Office determined that he was driving while under the influence of alcohol. A City of North Port representative said that a decision about the man’s future would be made after the case has been resolved.
Deputies say that the man had difficulty maintaining a single lane and failed to stop properly at a red light while proceeding southbound on North Tamiami Trail in Nokomis. Reports indicate that the man continued southbound when deputies attempted to stop his vehicle in the vicinity of Hanchey Drive. However, deputies say that he did pull over when he reached Albee Road. A DUI unit was called in when deputies detected the odor of alcohol on the man’s breath and observed an empty wine bottle inside his vehicle according to reports.
The man allegedly refused to perform a series of field sobriety tests and declined to submit to a breath test. After being taken into custody, he was transported to a nearby detention facility for processing.
Individuals who have little experience in dealing with law enforcement often make poor decisions following a traffic stop. Florida’s implied consent laws require drivers to submit to toxicology testing after being taken into custody for drunk driving, and motorists who refuse to do so face a driving ban of a year or longer. Experienced criminal defense attorneys often seek to settle drunk driving cases by negotiating plea agreements with the prosecutors involved, and they may urge their clients to cooperate with police but make no admissions or incriminating statements after being pulled over.