Earlier this week on our Athens, Georgia, DUI defense law blog, we had mentioned that folks may face DUI charges even when they are not pulled over during traffic stops.
Folks may be charged with drunk driving when police suspect drivers of DUI after witnessing motorists exiting their vehicles or after witnessing folks near vehicles that are running. Folks may also be charged with DUI long after exiting their vehicles when concerned citizens report witnessing suspicious drivers. This recently happened to a 26-year-old woman in Florida. The woman was charged with DUI, but she claims she was never driving when a concerned citizen called police to report a suspected drunk driver.
The woman claims that her arrest has been a complete misunderstanding. According to reports, police received a call from a gas station employee who claimed that a motorist was speeding in the parking lot of the gas station. The employee told police that the driver had three children in the vehicle with her.
When police arrived at the gas station, the woman was asked to take field sobriety tests. Police then arrested the woman for drunk driving and possession of oxycodone. Although the gas station employee told police that the woman had been driving the vehicle when the vehicle was seen speeding through the gas station parking lot, the woman claims that her mother-in-law was actually driving the vehicle at the time.
The woman told police that she got into an argument with her mother-in-law while her mother-in-law was driving. After pulling into the gas station parking lot, the woman’s mother-in-law got out of the vehicle and left the woman and her children in the vehicle in the parking lot. The woman also said that she had oxycodone with her because she was bringing her husband his prescription drugs. Reports have not stated whether the woman’s mother-in-law has verified the story since the woman’s arrest last week.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Kimberly Noelle Martin, DUI suspect, says she wasn’t driving,” April 8, 2013