“I don’t believe I am guilty of the charge (DUI)” – FL State Rep. Dane Eagle

Republican Florida State Representative, Dane Eagle, was arrested for DUI (Driving Under the Influence) on April 21st.  Earlier today, Eagle had a media conference where he addressed his constituents about his DUI arrest and stated, ” I don’t believe I am guilty of the charge I was arrested for.”  He continued to elaborate on his innocence by providing a persuasive account of events that happened before the arrest.

Eagle recalls the evening before his arrest as Easter Sunday spent with friends and family, “and the day did involve alcohol.”  However, he only had “very few” alcohol beverages and they were consumed earlier that day, “I do admit to drinking a few drinks much earlier in the day before.  But that evening I did not.”  Later, around 2 am, Eagle drove to Taco Bell, “the only place I knew to be open,” and Eagle said he was, “overly exhausted and hungry.”

Eagle continued by saying,  “There are two noteworthy points to address. First I should have never been out in the early morning hours, driving on very little sleep and trying to eat the food I just purchased all at the same time. That kind of distracted driving is dangerous and I thank god no one was hurt. Second, the officer had every right to pull me over because of my driving. While I dispute his conclusions, I do not dispute that I was driving recklessly and had poor judgment in refusing the breath test.”

And finally, “I should have never put myself in this situation and I regret not taking the breath test because it would have cleared up this whole matter,” he said. “I’m not asking you to look past the mistake I made but asking you to understand that I will use this to learn and to grow. I will make this up to you.”

Dane Eagle provides a very convincing recollection of events preceding his DUI arrest.  He takes a strong position that he was not under the influence of alcohol but he admits and takes responsibility for making an unwise decision for driving recklessly.  Could his explanation be persuasive enough to convince a jury panel of his innocence should his DUI case go to trial, perhaps so.

The Tallahassee police reported Eagle was pulled over at 2:17 in the morning after he exited a Taco Bell drive thru and almost hit a curb while making a U-turn followed by running a red light.  Allegedly, police could smell strong odors of alcohol coming from his car and Eagle’s eyes were blood-shot and watery.  Also, police observed stumbling while Eagle exited his vehicle.  Eagle declined the DUI field sobriety tests and refused to take the portable breath test.  Eagle explained to the arresting officer that he had not been drinking that night and that his car smelled of alcohol because his friends who had consumed alcohol were recently been in the car, and lastly the stoplight was yellow when he proceeded to drive thru it, not red.

Who’s story is more believable?  State Rep. Dane Eagle’s DUI case may be transpiring into a classic “he said, she said” case, meaning if the case goes to trial it may be Eagle’s testimony vs. the arresting officer’s testimony to determine Eagle’s DUI guilt or innocence.  And if so… may the best speaker win!


Written by Sarah Ann