The Marion County Sherriff’s Office arrested a 31-year-old Williston, Florida man Wednesday for grand theft, DUI and refusing to submit to a breath test.
The man was allegedly at a hotel with an escort and at the end of their get-together, stole her purse.
According to the Gainesville Sun, the 23-year-old escort flagged down an officer shortly before 2 a.m. at a Sleep Inn Motel. She told the officer that the Williston man was quite intoxicated, driving drunk and had stolen her purse, which was worth $75, had $241 in cash inside and contained some prescription medication.
The escort told the officer that after their pre-agreed 30 minute tryst was finished she went to the restroom. While she was in the bathroom, the man left the motel room with her purse.
The deputy followed the Williston man’s car and stopped him after he made a wide U-turn and ran over a curb.
The officer saw the purse in question in the man’s front seat and retrieved it.
The man allegedly failed a field sobriety exercise and was taken to the Marion County jail, where he refused to take a breath alcohol test.
Around noon on Wednesday the man contacted an Ocala Star-Banner reporter to make a statement. Apparently the man told the reporter he was not guilty of drinking, being with a woman or stealing anything.
Field sobriety tests are quite controversial in Florida DUI cases. The tests are designed to determine if a person is too incapacitated to operate a vehicle and to keep any dangerous activity off of the roadways. The intentions of these tests are good, however, many times the tests can be inaccurate. A few examples of field sobriety tests include writing the alphabet or reciting it backwards, counting fingers, touching your nose or standing on one leg.
The most controversial factor of field sobriety tests is that people not under the influence of alcohol or drugs can have trouble passing them mainly because there is no objective way to determine if someone is inhibited by drugs or alcohol, clumsy or even poorly-coordinated. Some illnesses can even affect coordination and balance. There are many scientific studies that question the reliability of these tests, but the bottom line is that they are subject to interpretation.
If you or someone you know has been accused of DUI in the state of Florida, contact the Florida DUI Attorneys at the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, LLC online or call 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).