DUI charges against Mayor Lowe dropped

On Monday afternoon, Mayor Craig Lowe entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the state attorney’s office in response to his DUI arrest that was made on 21st of March. According to the State Attorney, Bill Cervone, the agreement drops his DUI charges and requires him to participate in a DUI intervention program. If he completes the program, the charges would be dropped. Because Lowe doesn’t have major traffic or criminal history, he can participate in a DUI intervention program. Bill Cervone said that this type of agreement allows the courts to address the case “without protracted litigation that does nothing but subject all involved to needless expenditures of time and resources.”

The agreement includes donating $500 to nonprofit social services agency CDS Family & Behavioral Health Services, completing an alcohol/substance abuse evaluation and subsequent treatment, paying a $100 prosecution fine, performing 50 hours of community service and completing DUI School. As part of the agreement, he will lose his driver’s license for 14 days and he has to plead guilty to reckless driving.

Lowe was arrested by the Florida Highway Patrol and charged for driving under the influence and property damage after he failed the field sobriety test. According to the FHP, his BAC level was between .069 and .061 about 4 hours after the accident and he “performed poorly” on a field sobriety test. The agreement came about a week and a half after Lowe struck his 2005 Honda Civic into a road sign. The crash happened near the intersection of Northeast 156th Avenue and Northeast 21st Street in the northeastern Alachua County.

Lowe entered a formal written plea of not guilty on Thursday.

Cervone told that while making the agreement, the state attorney’s office took Lowe’s BAC level and his field sobriety test into consideration, both of which he said didn’t prove Lowe was too intoxicated to drive. Cervone said, “As in any court case, civil or criminal, both sides are usually well served by an agreed upon resolution that avoids a court fight. As to background issues, the Mayor has been treated exactly as anyone else would be in determining his qualifications for this program and any suggestion to the contrary is unfounded”.

In a written statement, Lowe apologized for his wrongdoing and accepted responsibility for his actions. To apologized to the residents and wrote, “While my actions have disappointed many, the issues facing our city are greater than me as one person or this particular incident. In order for our city to continue to progress, we must come together to secure our future”.

Lowe will be running against Ed Braddy in the April 16 run-off mayoral elections.

Author: Amir Ladan
A former assistant state attorney for Orange/Osceola Counties, Amir has handled thousands of cases and dozens of trials, ranging from DUI and traffic offenses to murder, in both adult and juvenile court.

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