SEBRING — State Representative Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park, faces a driving under the influence charge after an arrest early Friday morning at the Fort Pierce Service Plaza on Florida’s Turnpike in Port St. Lucie.
In two breath tests taken approximately three hours after the traffic stop, his blood alcohol levels were 0.140 and 0.150, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.
Troopers also noted, in the report, that they saw an open wine bottle in the front passenger seat.
Pigman was southbound on the Turnpike and told troopers he was on the way to visit family in Okeechobee. However, the traffic stop was 8.2 miles beyond the Okeechobee (State Road 70) exit.
FHP reports state troopers first got word of a reckless driver at 10:44 p.m. Thursday, from the Fort Drum Service Plaza at Mile Marker 184. Troopers found the car weaving and drifting over the center line from the outside lane, with numerous cars backed up behind it.
Troopers stopped the car at Mile Marker 145, just outside the Fort Pierce Plaza, and identified the driver as “Edwin Cary Pigman” from his driver’s license. His window was down and troopers saw him reaching into the passenger seat. When they reached the car, they could smell alcohol from inside the car and saw an open wine bottle on the passenger seat, reports said.
After talking with him about his destination and location, troopers asked him to get out of the car. Reports said Pigman had a hard time doing so.
When asked if he had medical issues that would impair his driving, he said no, reports said. When asked if he had been drinking, reports said he also said no.
During field sobriety tests just prior to midnight, reports said he did not follow instructions, could not remember them or failed to perform the tests. At one point during the “walk and turn” exercise, reports said, he almost fell and had to be steadied by a trooper holding his arm.
Troopers then put him under arrest. Later, at 1:44 and 1:47 a.m., troopers conducted breath tests and got readings of 0.140 and 0.150, both above the legal limit of 0.08.
Pigman, an emergency room doctor in Highlands County, was first elected to represent District 55 of the Florida House of Representatives in 2012 and has been re-elected subsequently.
At this time, the Florida House is considering a bill to curb DUI offenses with an ignition lock. House Bill 949, introduced by Rep. Cord Byrd, R-Neptune Beach, is under review by the House Judiciary Committee. It would require those convicted of DUI to place, at their expense, ignition interlock devices on their car ignitions for a specified period of time. Such devices, attached to a breath-alcohol meter, would prevent the car from starting if the driver’s breath shows an unlawful alcohol level.