Deputies: Driver going wrong way on U.S. 1 blows 3 times legal limit

Deputies forced to pop tires to get driver to stop, sheriff's office says

By Francine Frazier - Senior web producer

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - A 57-year-old Florida man was charged with DUI early Thursday after St. Johns County deputies spotted him driving the wrong way on U.S. 1, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Derrick Stafford, of Cocoa, was driving a black BMW southbound in the northbound lanes of U.S. 1 south just before 1 a.m. Thursday, deputies said.

The deputies who saw him tried to pull him over, but he refused to stop, and they had to deploy “stop sticks” to deflate his tires, the Sheriff's Office said.

According to the report, the stop sticks worked, and Stafford's vehicle stopped several miles down the road.

Deputies at the scene said Stafford smelled strongly of alcohol and his speech was mumbled and slurred. They said he agreed at first to perform field sobriety exercises, but fell to the ground and rolled on his back before the test started, admitting he was unable to perform them.

He was taken into a custody on a charge of driving under the influence.

At the St. Johns County Jail, Stafford's breath sample showed a blood alcohol level of 0.248, or more than three times the legal limit, according to deputies.

Stafford was booked into the Jail on $3,000 bond for charges of DUI and fleeing police.

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