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The Villages
Thursday, September 21, 2023

Villager hoping to suppress evidence from drunk driving arrest

Stacy Duroe Fitzgerald
Stacy Duroe Fitzgerald

A Villager is hoping to suppress evidence from a drunk driving arrest resulting from a crash last year on the Historic Side of The Villages.

A hearing on a motion to suppress evidence is set for Thursday in Lake County Court involving the case of 61-year-old Stacy Duroe Fitzgerald of the Village of Piedmont.

In August 2022, she crashed into a small tree, a carport attached to a residence and a parked car at a home in the 800 block of Sharon Drive. Fitzgerald was “severely intoxicated” and taken to a local hospital rather than being immediately arrested, according to an arrest report from the Lady Lake Police Department. Tests later showed Fitzgerald had a blood alcohol content level of .380, which the investigator noted was nearly “toxic.” Vodka bottles were found in her car.

In a motion to suppress the evidence, Fitzgerald’s attorney said his client was “disoriented” when the accident occurred. The motion also contends that a police officer failed to give Fitzgerald a Miranda Warning and she never gave permission for a search of her vehicle that led to the discovery of bottles of alcohol.  The motion also claimed a blood draw at the hospital was taken without her consent.

While she remained free on bond in that arrest, Fitzgerald was arrested on two subsequent DUIs.

Most recently, she was arrested Aug. 2 after she was found sleeping in her golf cart near the Village of Alhambra. An open carton of Black Box premium merlot wine was found in her golf cart.

In May, she had been placed on probation as the result of her arrest this past January after her vehicle sustained a flat tire and was blocking traffic at Buena Vista Boulevard and Parr Drive. An investigation led to the discovery of vodka bottles in her vehicle. She provided two breath samples that each measured .305 blood alcohol content. She later lost her driver’s license for six months, was placed on probation for one year and was ordered to perform 80 hours of community service.

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