Susan Hardee Steger
A motorist’s 911 call to report an SUV “running off the road and nearly striking a vehicle head-on” led to the DUI arrest of Nassau County Commission Chairwoman Stacy Johnson, according to the Nassau County Sheriff’s deputy who arrested her.
Johnson “was endangering other motoring public on the roadway” as she drove home, the report states.
The incident began as a blue Toyota SUV driven by Johnson was headed north on the Amelia Island Parkway about 10:15 p.m. Friday, according to the arrest report filed by Deputy C.D. Arline. It says the female motorist who called 911 followed the SUV to Arrigo Blvd. until Nassau County Sheriff’s volunteer Joshua Reed got behind the vehicle.
Reed followed the SUV from the intersection of Blackrock Road on SR 200 to the entrance of Sand Hickory Trail, the report says. “Mr. Reed observed the vehicle run off the road several times and hit the white line several times,” the report says. Reed backed off “after Deputy Gaston got behind the vehicle.”
The report continues, “Deputy Gaston observed the vehicle traveling south on Miner Road to the driveway of her [Stacy Johnson’s] home.” Deputy Arline then arrived.
“I observed Ms. Johnson standing behind her vehicle. Ms. Johnson had a back and forward sway, and staggered walk as she approached Deputy Gaston and I,” Arline wrote.
“I made contact with Ms. Johnson and smelled the odor of a strong alcoholic beverage emitting from Ms. Johnson’s breath and person. Ms. Johnson had a flushed face, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.”
Arline wrote that he advised Johnson of her rights and asked her to submit to several standardized field sobriety exercises, but she refused and “stated that she wanted to speak with her attorney.” She subsequently “became argumentative with me,” he wrote.
Johnson was arrested and transported to the Nassau County jail, “where I asked Deputy Taylor to administer a breath test. Ms Johnson refused to submit to the test, and was booked for the charge of D.U.I.,” Arline wrote.
Nassau County Assistant State Attorney Wesley White was present at Johnson’s bond hearing Saturday morning. He indicated his office will be prosecuting the case and said Commissioner Johnson “will be treated like everyone else.” The report filed by Arline indicated Johnson had no prior arrests.
June 18, 2012 7:20 p.m.