A woman from Alabama who was allegedly sipping Tito’s vodka was arrested on Interstate 75 in Sumter County during a trip to see her boyfriend.
Madeline Susan Mallette, 27, of Florence, Ala. was driving a black Nissan SUV shortly before 9 p.m. Thursday on I-75 when 911 callers reported she was driving without her headlights, according to an arrest report from the Florida Highway Patrol.
When a trooper spotted Mallette’s SUV, two vehicles were traveling behind her and had their hazard lights activated.
During a traffic stop, Mallette told the trooper she had been traveling from Alabama and was on her way to see her boyfriend in Sarasota. She was slurring her words and it appeared she had been drinking, the report said. There were “several cans of Truly Hard Seltzer” on the passenger floorboard of her SUV. There was also a blue plastic cup in the center console that smelled like vodka. An empty single-shot plastic bottle of Tito’s vodka was found on the passenger seat. When the trooper reached for the cup, Mallette snatched it away from him. Two additional single-shot Tito’s bottles were also found in the vehicle.
She was invited to participate in field sobriety exercises, but Mallette said she “needed to call her parents first.” She had continually stated that the trooper should let her go and that she didn’t want “to get into trouble.”
Mallette did not perform field sobriety exercises and refused to provide a breath sample. She was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence. She was booked at the Sumter County Detention Center and released after posting $1,000 bond.
She had been traveling with a golden retriever and the dog was turned over to Sumter County Animal Services.