Police say that a 45-year-old Florida woman was under the influence when she caused an accident after driving the wrong way on a busy road in Tampa on the evening of Aug. 12. Officers say that the Hillsborough County resident refused to submit to a breath test following the two-car crash, and she was subsequently taken into custody on charges including DUI and battery. The accident took place on West Hillsborough Avenue at approximately 11:00 p.m.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the woman was proceeding westbound on West Hillsborough Avenue when her vehicle crossed the median and entered the path of eastbound traffic in the vicinity of Hoover Boulevard. Police say that the woman took evasive action once she realized what she had done, but she was not able to avoid striking a pole in the median. Her vehicle is said to have finally came to a rest after colliding with a stationary BMW sedan.
While the woman was not injured in the accident, her female passenger suffered what were described as minor injuries and was treated at the scene by paramedics. Police say that the woman lashed out when a bystander approached the accident scene to help her out of her vehicle, and a charge of battery was added when the Good Samaritan told officers that the woman had punched him in the face.
Motorists in Florida who refuse to submit to a toxicology test after being charged with drunk driving will generally lose their driving privileges for a year with subsequent offenses leading to an 18-month ban and the possibility of jail time. Experienced criminal defense attorneys may encourage their clients to obey the lawful orders of a police officer but to make no statements or admissions until represented by a lawyer. While breath or blood test results are generally compelling pieces of evidence, they are not infallible and may be challenged by attorneys in some situations.
Source: CBS News 10 Tampa, “Woman arrested for driving wrong way, battery”, Staff report, Aug. 13, 2016