OSPREY, FL (SARASOTA COUNTY) - An arrest news story on yoursun.com reports that a woman who was driving in the wrong way direction along State Road 681, out of Venice, and then drove the wrong-way along Interstate 75 is has been arrested following a collision with a responding Sarasota County Sheriff's Officer's vehicle. The Sarasota County Sheriff's Officer's Chevy Tahoe was severely damaged in a head-on collision, and the Sheriff's deputy is lucky to be alive after the Interstate 75 head-on accident on Wednesday. The news report states that a 20-year-old woman from Sarasota, Florida, is facing serious criminal charges stemming from purportedly driving in the wrong direction along I-75 and colliding with the deputy at around 1:30 in the morning on Wednesday.
The woman from Sarasota has been charged with DUI with property damage, reckless driving, and Driving Under the Influence. A probable cause affidavit says that the woman lives in an apartment complex off Honore Avenue in Sarasota, Florida.
According to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office's news release, the suspect was driving her Nissan Altima northbound in the southbound lanes of State Road 681 in Venice, Florida, and then she turned onto I-75, heading northbound in the southbound lanes. The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office's news release stated that a responding Sheriff's deputy reached Mile Marker 203 and was driving in the center lane saw the driver who was driving in the left lane against the flow of traffic on I-75. The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office deputy turned on his emergency lights and slowed down his patrol vehicle, according to the news release. The suspect then changed the lane she was driving in and then collided head-on into the deputy's Tahoe. Fortunately, neither the deputy nor the woman was killed in the collision.
After the accident, law enforcement officers observed her eyes to be bloodshot and watery. They also notice that the woman's speech was slurred, low in volume, and thick-tongued. The deputy also saw that her movements were "lethargic and slow," indicating she was potentially driving unde the influence, according to the probable cause affidavit states.
After the suspect was read and received her Miranda Rights warnings, she admitted to deputies that she was on her way home from visiting friends. Initially, she told the deputies that she didn't put in her contacts and that she usually exits I-75 at Exit 195 or Exit 200, which was the exit she had just left. She also stated that she had only slept about an hour the night prior and had not eaten much all day, according to the probable cause affidavit. The suspect also said that she is taking a prescription medication that she will increase the quantity she will take when she feels that she needs more medication for symptoms.
The suspect also denied that she was under the influence of narcotics and that she had not smoked marijuana in a month. She did refuse to take a breath test but ultimately did the field sobriety exercises. The Sheriff's deputy conducted the field sobriety test, and the results were "indicative of a person under the influence of alcohol and/or controlled substances to the point that their normal faculties are impaired." The suspect refused to give a breath sample after she was asked once again.
The suspect works as a home health aide out of Punta Gorda, Florida, according to her arrest report.
As the defendant was being booked into the Sarasota County Jail, she stated that when she gets out of jail she is going to smoke a huge bowl (of marijuana), according to the defendant's probable cause affidavit. Her bail bond was set at $740, and she was released later that day, according to law enforcement authorities.