Note to self: Shut up

Anyone who has seen even a few minutes of a TV police drama knows these words: “You have the right to remain silent.” A Panhandle man might want to write those down the next time he gets into his truck. Police in Niceville say a man they pulled over after a wild chase, complete with several crashes, told them he really shouldn’t have been out driving that day, especially since he had been drinking and his driver’s license was invalid.

The excitement began at the recent Mullet Festival. Two police officers on site were talking to a man in a white pickup when the truck suddenly fishtailed out of the parking lot and onto the highway. A Niceville officer gave chase and the pickup weaved down the road at high speed, veering into the oncoming lane numerous times and sending several vehicles off the road. Still trying to shake his pursuer, the driver narrowly missed hitting an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputy who immediately joined the chase.

The laws of physics brought the pursuit to an end when the driver entered a curve at high speed, lost control, and barreled into the tree line at the edge of the road. As officers hauled the 23 year-old driver out of the cab they noted a “strong odor of alcohol,” according to the police report. Without being asked, police say, he confessed to drinking and driving with a suspended license, which will no doubt undermine his legal defense in court. The driver was charged with drunk driving, fleeing police, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license. He has until December 4 to find a lawyer.

Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, “Man tells lawmen he shouldn’t have been driving after drinking,” Oct. 24, 2012

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