Florida Crash Damages Local Mayor’s Car, Reputation

Like love, justice is blind. At least it’s supposed to be. The recent arrest of a Florida politician stemming from an allegedly drunken car accident is another reminder that Sunshine State cops are willing to enforce the law of the road, no matter who violates it.

Gainesville mayor Craig Lowe was arrested and charged with DUI following an single-car accident in Alachua County on March 21. According to Florida Highway Patrol, the accident was reported around 2:20 a.m. “Alachua County sheriff’s deputies told an FHP trooper they saw Lowe behind the driver’s seat when they first arrived and that he appeared intoxicated,” The Gainesville Sun’s Cindy Swirko and Maru Opabola report. Lowe apparently claimed that the crash happened after he fell asleep behind the wheel, but the cops weren’t buying it.

Smelling alcohol, the trooper subjected Lowe to field sobriety tests. He was arrested and transported to county jail after performing poorly. Lowe told the trooper that he’d consumed three beers earlier in the night, but a breathalyzer test performed more than two hours after the accident registered his blood alcohol content at just below the legal limit (.08). Given the time lapse, police said Lowe was likely over the legal limit when the crash occurred.

Lowe was released from jail late that afternoon. He faces charges of DUI with property damage and careless driving. He might also need a new car. The New York Daily News reports that Lowe’s 2005 Honda Civic “suffered major front-end damage and had four flat tires.”

But Lowe isn’t ready to throw himself at the mercy of prosecutors just yet. “I apologize for the harm that this situation has caused to my friends, supporters, and the citizens of Gainesville,” he said in a statement. “I feel that it’s important to set the record straight. In the coming days, additional facts will come to light and I believe that I will (be) found not guilty in this case.”

The incident comes as Lowe’s first term as Gainesville nears its end and less than a month before a runoff election. He earned the Mayor’s seat by a slim 42-vote margin in 2010. Ed Braddy, Lowe’s opponent in the April 16 run off, was charged with DUI in 2006, according to the Daily News.

As Mayor Lowe’s recent run-in makes clear, the decision to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol can have significant and far reaching consequences. That’s not to mention the danger it poses to other drivers on the road. If you were injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, contact the Florida car accident attorneys at Anidjar & Levine.

Representing clients throughout the area, including in Boca Raton, Ft. Lauderdale and Pompano Beach, our legal professionals are dedicated to helping you achieve the best possible outcome. We often represent individuals who were injured in vehicle collisions and we make ourselves available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so that you can have complete peace of mind knowing you can contact your lawyer whenever necessary. Call Anidjar & Levine’s Fort Lauderdale office today at 800-747-3733 for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you to weigh all of your legal options.

Relate blog posts:

Court Reverses Criminal Conviction for Driver in Deadly Florida Car Accident – Rubinger v. State

Settlement Reached in Florida Texting-While-Driving Lawsuit

Court Upholds $150,000 Jury Award in Florida Rear-End Car Accident Case – Costa v. Aberle