A high school teacher in the Tampa area has been suspended from work after police in Brooksville arrested her on suspicion of drinking and driving on Oct. 19. The arrest came after the woman was involved in a car accident that caused no injuries. The woman's teaching job could be at stake, depending on how the case is resolved.
The suspect is a 62-year-old woman who has been teaching full-time in the Tampa metropolitan area since 1993. She was driving in Brooksville around 9 p.m. when her SUV sideswiped another vehicle that was coming the other direction. The second vehicle swerved and struck a tree.
According to a witness, the suspect continued on from the accident scene and parked near the school where she works. A police officer responded to a call about the accident and observed the suspect getting out of her SUV.
The officer ordered the suspect to perform field sobriety tests and decided that she failed the tests. He arrested the woman and took her to the Hernando County Detention Center, where she took a breath test that measured her blood-alcohol level at between 0.061 and 0.062. That is below Florida's legal driving limit of 0.08, but drivers can still be charged if authorities argue the driver was impaired.
The woman has been charged with DUI resulting in property damage and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage. She is out on bail, but the school district has pulled her from the classroom. She has not lost her job, but the school district likely will consider firing her if her case ends with a conviction or a guilty plea.
Source: Tampa Bay Times, "Hernando High teacher charged with DUI, leaving accident," Tony Marrero and Danny Valentine, Oct. 24, 2012
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