Villager pursued by patrol car for two miles sees DUI charge bargained down by lawyer

Lauren Ann Cote

A Villager who was pursued by a patrol car for two miles before she realized its emergency lights were activated has seen an original charge of driving under the influence bargained down to a lesser charge.

Lauren Ann Cote, 55, of the Village of Orange Blossoms Gardens, had been at the wheel of a maroon Hyundai at about 1:30 p.m. Nov. 9 when the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint about a reckless driver on County Road 475 in Oxford. A deputy located the vehicle, but it continued on for two miles with the deputy’s patrol car’s emergency lights activated. After she finally pulled over, Cote claimed she had been looking for Providence Ranch equestrian center, which is where the traffic stop took place.

Cote appeared to be “very slow and lethargic in her movements,” the arrest report said.

Cote said she could not participate in field sobriety exercises.

“The defendant told me she has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, degenerative disc disease, and has four bulging discs in her back,” the deputy wrote in the arrest report.

Cote told the deputy she had taken prescription Hydrocodone 45 minutes before the traffic stop. She refused to provide a urine sample. She was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence.

Earlier this month in Sumter County Court, Cote pleaded no contest to a charge of reckless driving. She has been placed on probation for one month.

Cote was represented by attorney Jaimie Washo Spivey.