Monday, February 22, 2021
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The Villages

Villager enters plea in New Year’s Eve drunk driving arrest

Patricia Gallagher

A Village of Pine Ridge resident has entered a plea in court in connection with her arrest on New Year’s Eve on a charge of drunk driving.

Patricia Gallagher, 64, entered a plea of not guilty Jan. 8 in Lake County Court to a charge of driving under the influence.

Two Fruitland Park police vehicles had been involved in a traffic stop shortly before 9 p.m. New Year’s Eve at the intersection of County Road 466A and Drake Drive with their emergency red-and-blue lights flashing. Gallagher attempted to turn onto Drake Drive, even though there was not enough room for her vehicle to pass through due to the police cars involved in the traffic stop. She came “within inches” of hitting one of the patrol cars, according to an arrest report from the Fruitland Park Police Department.

When officers spoke with the Ohio native, they noted her speech was slurred and her face was flushed. When asked if she had been drinking, she said she had consumed “one vodka soda.”

Officers asked her to participate in field sobriety exercises on Drake Drive and put down solid white two-inch tape for the walk-and-turn portion of the test. She failed the exercises and was handcuffed.

She provided two breath samples, both registering .170 blood alcohol content. She remains free on $1,000 bond.

Gallagher has retained criminal defense attorney Nicholas Stack. A plea negotiation conference is set for Feb. 22.

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