He 'could barely hold' alcohol, 'unable to open' glove box, 'wearing 2 different shoes'

He ‘could barely hold’ alcohol, ‘unable to open’ glove box, ‘wearing 2 different shoes’

(As originally published, Tue, February 6th 2024)

LADY LAKE, Fla. (TND) — DUI suspects tend to be found behind the wheel but a witness called the sheriff’s office in Florida to report one in line at a liquor store, buying alcohol.

They said he “could barely hold the alcohol he was purchasing,” and then he drove his white Tesla through a fast-food drive-thru, according to his arrest report from Sept. 12.

A corporal nearby responded and wrote about the caller saying James Lew “had messy hair and looked as if he ‘slept in his clothing.’”

The corporal found the white Tesla, got directly behind it, confirmed the license plate, and watched the driver fail to come to a complete stop before turning right at a red light.

He conducted a traffic stop.

“I could smell the odor of alcohol emitting from the driver’s breath,” the corporal wrote. “The driver provided his driver’s license, although reached for the glove box but was unable to open it and immediately began touching the touch screen in the vehicle for an extended amount of time (over a minute).

“Eventually, the driver was able to provide two insurance cards, although failed to provide a registration for the vehicle.”

The corporal noted, “His speech was very slurred,” and Lew denied drinking, but during their conversation, “He could not maintain eye contact.”

Then, the first thing he noticed when Lew got out of his car to perform field sobriety exercises: “He was wearing two different shoes on his feet.

He 'could barely hold' alcohol, 'unable to open' glove box, 'wearing 2 different shoes'
James Lew was charged with DUI and given a written warning for failing to stop, Sept. 12, 2023. (Lake Co. Sheriff’s Office)

“He was also unsteady on his feet, as he continued to step back and forth to maintain his balance.”

The report also said he was not able to stand with his feet together, and unable to perform other tasks.

He was arrested and in jail, “James agreed to provide a sample of his breath [but] intentionally would open his mouth, allowing the air to exit his mouth and not blow into the machine. James was given multiple chances to provide a sample as well as explained the consequences of failing to provide a sample.”

There was no sample given.

Lew was charged with DUI and given a written warning for failing to stop.

He posted $1,000 bond after two-and-a-half days in jail.

Then, on Jan. 25, the 72-year-old pleaded no contest to reckless driving with alcohol, and he ended up with a year of probation and six months of a suspended license.

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