Given the concerns about people trying to commit various illegal acts at U.S. airports, it is no surprise that every airport - Sarasota's included - is vigilant about people who might violate the law. Driving onto the property in areas where unauthorized vehicles cannot go will inevitably lead to an arrest. Whether the person was under the influence or not is irrelevant. In fact, it can result in significant charges. While this is an inadvisable act, those who are arrested on felony drunk driving charges and related infractions after driving onto an airport must have a legal defense to avoid the worst possible penalties.
According to a recent report, a woman allegedly ran through a fence at the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport and drove onto airport property. After crashing through the fence, she spent approximately a minute-and-a-half driving on the property before leaving. The vice president of the airport said the vehicle was watched on camera as the car hit a small plane, denting it. Airport law enforcement went to the scene, but the driver fled before they could reach her.
A law enforcement officer caught the driver not far from the airport. In the report, she allegedly said she believed she was in Ohio. In the vehicle was, reportedly, an open box of wine. She was given a breath test to determine the amount of alcohol in her system and she allegedly registered nearly 0.15 percent BAC. She was charged with DUI, and driving onto the airport has raised the charges she faces to the level of a felony.
Any arrest with drunk driving charges and other traffic offenses can be serious, but when there are allegations that a person drove onto an airport, it can raise the level of charges significantly. Jail time, fines and long-term penalties are possible with a conviction on these felony charges. With the seriousness of these multiple offenses, the woman must remember her rights when it comes to DUI and traffic offenses, as well as criminal defense.