According to law enforcement officials with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department, a 31-year-old woman from Ruskin was charged with DUI after driving the wrong way on 50th Street South on June 6. Reportedly, the woman had a toddler in the automobile at the time of the incident.
Officers reported that some sheriff’s deputies were traveling northbound on 50th Street South when they spotted the woman driving south in the northbound lanes. The deputies were reportedly traveling in an unmarked pickup truck. As they were looking at the woman’s vehicle, the officer driving the sheriff’s department truck reportedly struck a different pickup truck.
The person inside of the other pickup truck reportedly was not injured, so the deputies then turned around and caught up to the woman and stopped her. She allegedly refused to submit to a breathalyzer test. Upon discovering the child in her car, the deputies called Child Protective Services to the scene before placing the woman into custody. The incident happened shortly after 8 p.m. Officers said the woman has a prior refusal on her record as well. Police reports did not indicate what relationship the woman had with the child.
When a person is charged with driving under the influence, he or she will likely face more serious consequences if there is a child present in the car at the time of the arrest. In this woman’s case, a criminal defense attorney may work to uncover mitigating evidence that could be used to help secure a plea to a lesser offense. The lawyer might then negotiate with the prosecutor in an effort to minimize the amount of any time in jail. For example, the attorney may work to get the woman treatment in lieu of incarceration.
Source: Brandon Patch, “Wrong-way driver caught with toddler in car: Deputies,” Sherri Lonon, June 7, 2016.