Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

'Eye-Opening Experience' for Attorney | Tom Hudson Known for Helping His Clients Evade Such Convictions

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

'Eye-Opening Experience' for Attorney | Tom Hudson Known for Helping His Clients Evade Such Convictions

Article excerpt

DUI ARREST

SARASOTA -- Local attorney Tom Hudson is known as one of the nation's preeminent DUI defense lawyers, writing one of the definitive books on the topic, "The Drinker's Guide to Driving: The Secrets of DUI from One of America's Top DUI Lawyers."

He holds law enforcement certifications usually reserved for police officers assigned to DUI enforcement units, and he's qualified to administer both the Intoxilyzer 5000 and 8000 breath- testing machines.

On Sunday, Hudson found himself on the receiving end of one of the devices, stopped by Sarasota County Sheriff's Office deputies about 7:30 p.m., in the 4600 block of McIntosh Road.

An hour later, the Intoxilyzer 8000 indicated that Hudson's breath alcohol level was .12, over the legal limit of .08.

He was charged with DUI.

His willingness to provide a breath sample, coupled with other decisions he made during the hours he spent in custody, have some local defense attorneys scratching their heads in wonderment.

Hudson told the Herald-Tribune he can't comment on a pending case.

"But I encourage people to be cautious during the holiday season," he said. "It's easy to be unaware of the amount of your consumption."

The stop

Deputy Stacey Eve was running radar parked in the middle of McIntosh Road, about 1,000 feet south of Bee Ridge Road on Sunday evening.

According to her report, she saw Hudson's vehicle approaching in her rear view mirror at excessive speed.

She turned on her radar, which showed he was traveling at 50 mph in a 35 mph zone.

Once Hudson passed her, Eve followed, noting in her report that Hudson's speed varied from 49 mph to 55 mph, and that he "made jerking movements and traveled briefly from one side of the right lane to the other."

Once stopped -- and after Hudson rolled down his window -- the deputy noted "an odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the inside of the car," that Hudson's speech allegedly "sounded slurred as he spoke," and that the lawyer's movements were "sluggish and exaggerated."

She called for a traffic unit to respond.

A familiar face

Deputy Sgt. Chuck Flint and Deputy Jimmy Adams were dispatched.

They recognized Hudson immediately. …

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