A 24-year-old Ocala woman was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs after being pulled over for driving erratically shortly after midnight Monday.
A Marion County sheriff’s deputy was behind a blue Nissan SUV heading south on S Pine Avenue when he observed the vehicle abruptly accelerating and decelerating while failing to stay in its lane. Believing the driver was either under the influence, falling asleep or having a medical emergency, the deputy decided to initiate a traffic stop and turned on his emergency lights. The Nissan turned west onto SE 67th Street and continued until pulling into a driveway that was later to determined to be at the driver’s sister’s house.
Before the deputy could get out of his patrol car, the driver of the Nissan – Brittany Nicole Lemke, of 4911 NE 9th St. – frantically exited her vehicle and began walking toward the deputy, holding her license and registration before being asked to show it, a sheriff’s office report states.
The deputy told Lemke that she needed to return to her vehicle, but instead she sat down on the ground next to the back side of the SUV. When told again to get back in her vehicle, she tried to get into the back seat instead of the driver’s seat as instructed, the report says.
Upon approaching the vehicle, the deputy could smell the strong odor of marijuana emanating from it. He asked Lemke why she seemed nervous and she said it was because she had just come from O’Malley’s Alley, where she had consumed “a couple beers” with her friends. When asked if that was all she was concerned about, Lemke said she had a marijuana roach in the vehicle. The deputy observed her eyes to be bloodshot and watery, and her attitude changing from nervously happy to tired and confused, the report says.
Lemke failed a series of failed sobriety tests and was placed under arrest. She was taken to the Marion County Jail, where she registered 0.109 and 0.107 on a breathalyzer test. She was released later Monday on $1,000 bond. No court date was set.