New Video of Mayor Lowe's DUI Arrest Raises Questions of Preferential Treatment
GAINESVILLE - Just when the recent DUI arrest of Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe appeared to have a resolution, there are renewed questions after the release of a second dash cam video. Based on comments made by a sheriff's deputy in the video, some residents are questioning if the mayor received preferential treatment during his arrest.
The first video was released last Friday by the Florida Highway Patrol after they concluded their investigation. The second video was released by the Alachua County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday. Their deputies were the first to arrive to the crash scene on March 21 at Northeast 156th Avenue and Northeast 21st Street. It's the ASO video that is raising those questions.
The cruiser dash cam video shows Mayor Lowe's car in the front of the Monteocha store. Two deputies are seen questioning him. One deputy can be heard speaking to Lowe after performing a sobriety test on his eyes.
"I can tell by your eyes you have had a lot more than three beers," the deputy is heard saying. "It doesn't really matter the amount you have had now because when we came up to you, you were not operating the vehicle. You weren't in control of the vehicle. You were sitting in the driver's seat. We could go a whole other route with that. But because of the job you have, we are not going to."
As of Tuesday night, ASO spokesperson Sgt. Todd Kelly had not seen the video in its entirety, but said the deputy who made the comments is new on the job.
Kelly said he does not believe any preferential treatment was made. He said the deputies that are seen in the video followed the proper protocol by contacting FHP and allowing them to conduct the DUI check.
Twelve days after his arrest, Mayor Lowe entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with State Attorney Bill Cervone that puts his DUI charges to rest. The agreement means Lowe will participate in a DUI intervention program, something made available to first offenders with no significant criminal or traffic history.
Lowe's case will not go before a judge if he complies with all the rules of the deal.
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