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Law enforcement officials in Ocala and Marion County often rely on other drivers to spot illegal driving behavior. This reliance is most often exhibited with respect to drivers who are believed to be intoxicated. The report of another driver recently led to the apprehension of an Ocala man on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

Marion County sheriff’s deputies recently received a call reporting a reckless driver. A sheriff’s deputy responded to the call and soon spotted a Nissan pickup truck being driven in a reckless manner in the 5200 block of S. E. Maricamp Road. The deputy stopped the vehicle and observed that the driver, a 22-year-old from Ocala, was displaying “obvious signs of impairment.” The newspaper report of the incident does not, however, describe the behavior cited in the police report. The driver was given a field sobriety test, which he failed. Deputies then took the man to the Marion County Jail, where he provided a second breath sample. The defendant’s blood alcohol content was .174%, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08%.

The defendant was incarcerated overnight. The next day he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and released without posting a bond. The man is required to appear in court on August 25 to give his answer to the charge against him.

If the newspaper report is accurate, it appears that the defendant in this case has no prior driving violations. If any are discovered prior to the arraignment in August, the charges will no doubt be upgraded. Regardless of whether additional charges come to light, the defendant in this case is facing serious accusations. If convicted, he could lose his right to drive, be punished with a significant fine and perhaps face incarceration. Anyone who faces a similar situation may benefit from consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can evaluate the evidence, suggest possible defenses and if appropriate, negotiate a favorable plea agreement.