Police in Florida say that a 29-year-old man was drunk when he lost control of his pickup truck in St. Johns County during the early morning hours of Jan. 30. Two pedestrians suffered what media reports described as serious injuries in the ensuing accident. The man's truck also allegedly caused damage to a historic cemetery that a nonprofit group says will cost at least $10,000 to repair. He faces multiple drunk driving charges and is being held at the St. Johns County Jail on a $56,000 bond.

According to a St. Augustine Police Department report, the man's truck struck the two pedestrians as it was exiting the Tolomato Cemetery parking lot at about 1 a.m. A helicopter was called in to transport a woman to an Orange Park trauma center who had suffered several injuries including two broken legs. A man was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital with a leg wound, but he was also airlifted to Orange Park Medical Center when doctors discovered a neck injury.

The 29-year-old man was taken into custody at the scene after allegedly failing a standard field sobriety test. Officers say that he displayed clear signs of intoxication including bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. Reports indicate that police obtained a search warrant to draw the man's blood after he refused to submit to a breath test.

Florida motorists who refuse to submit to a breath test face a mandatory driving ban under the state's implied consent law. Refusing to cooperate with police might also make it more difficult for criminal defense attorneys to convince prosecutors to reduce or dismiss drunk driving charges during plea negotiations.

Source: News 4 Jax, Police: Drunk driver hits couple on sidewalk, smashes through wall, Allyson Henning, Jan. 29, 2019

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