Sarasota, FL – In the early hours of Sunday, October 30, 2022, local authorities encountered a traffic violation that led to the arrest of a driver on charges of driving under the influence (DUI) and driving with a suspended license. Officer Klein, from the Sarasota Police Department, reported the incident that took place at the intersection of North Cranberry Blvd and North Toledo Blade Blvd within the City of North Port, Sarasota County.
Officer Klein noticed a black Hyundai sedan stopped beyond the designated stop bar and crosswalk, nearly blocking the entire intersection as it waited for the traffic light to change. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the license plates had expired on April 2, 2021, and the registered owner of the vehicle, identified as Naomi Furrer, had a suspended driver’s license.
When the traffic light cycled, Officer Klein initiated a traffic stop and approached the driver, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle. The driver was promptly identified as Naomi Furrer, confirming her connection to the registered ownership. Officer Klein observed several signs of impairment, including bloodshot and watery eyes, slightly slurred speech, and difficulty recalling recent events and locations. Furrer, dressed in a Halloween costume, claimed to have been returning from a Halloween party. Notably, she was wearing a yellow wristband commonly issued at local bars.
The presence of a strong odor of alcohol coming from Furrer’s breath and person raised suspicions, prompting Officer Klein to inquire about her license status. Furrer admitted to being aware of her suspended license and claimed to be working on rectifying the situation. Officer Klein instructed Furrer to exit her vehicle, which she did, although she displayed unsteadiness on her feet. Even outside the vehicle, the smell of alcohol lingered.
To further assess Furrer’s condition, Officer Klein requested her participation in field sobriety exercises, to which she agreed. Subsequent computer checks unveiled three active suspensions for failure to pay traffic citations and an additional suspension for violation of financial responsibility. Given the totality of the circumstances and Furrer’s performance on the field sobriety exercises, Officer Klein established probable cause that Furrer violated Florida State Statute 316.193(1)(a), Driving under the Influence, and F.S.S. 322.34(2)(a), Driving While License Suspended With Knowledge. Furrer knowingly operated her vehicle on the roadway with a suspended license, while significantly impaired by alcohol.
Following the determination of probable cause, Furrer was placed under arrest and transported without incident to the Sarasota County Jail. A subsequent probable cause search of her vehicle uncovered two small open containers of Fireball Whiskey and an empty can of White Claw Hard Seltzer within the passenger compartment. Talon Towing was later called to remove Furrer’s vehicle from the scene.
At the jail, Officer Klein requested Furrer to provide a breath sample for testing, but she refused. Furrer was advised of her implied consent warnings, which she acknowledged, yet she persisted in refusing the breath sample. She was issued citations and booked accordingly. The ongoing trial will determine the final outcome of the case.
This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of responsible driving and adhering to traffic regulations. The Sarasota Police Department remains committed to ensuring public safety and will continue its efforts to keep the community secure from impaired drivers.