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Honest, officer, I broke the law

A trooper was probably shocked with the answers received from a DUI suspect along U.S. 19.

By JAMAL THALJI
Published February 25, 2007


NEW PORT RICHEY - Many lie when confronted with evidence they may have committed a crime.

But not everyone.

Take Craig Shelton, whom the Florida Highway Patrol says it pulled over Saturday at 1:09 a.m. after he was seen driving erratically on U.S. 19.

The Clearwater man's pickup swerved and drifted, according to the trooper, and was slow to respond to the emergency lights flashing behind him.

When Shelton did pull over near State Road 54, the trooper said, he locked his brakes.

The FHP report details what happened next:

Shelton tossed his keys into the pickup bed.

The trooper asked for his driver's license.

Shelton said he didn't have one.

Was it suspended? Yes, Shelton said.

Shelton agreed to perform field-sobriety exercises - but gave up before the first test.

"Just call it a DUI man," he said. "You got me."

Inside the truck the trooper said he found two cold Bud Lights - one open - an empty bottle of Bacardi and a "green leafy substance."

Handcuffed, sitting in the back of the FHP cruiser, Shelton then asked: "Did you find my weed?"

Shelton, 38, of 1450 Franklin St., Apt. B in Clearwater, was arrested on charges of driving under the influence, driving with a suspended or revoked license and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana. He refused to take a Breathalyzer test.

He was in the county jail Saturday afternoon, held in lieu of $1,000 bail.