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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Drunk-driving Leesburg woman caught with open vodka, beer containers

Ashleah Colleen Hayes
Ashleah Colleen Hayes

A Leesburg woman was arrested for drunk driving after police found several open alcohol containers in her vehicle and she admitted to drinking at a friend’s house when she dropped off her child.

The Leesburg Police Department received information from Fruitland Park police about a reckless driver, later identified as 38-year-old Ashleah Colleen Hayes, entering the city limits of Leesburg at about 8:04 p.m. Sunday, according to an arrest report from the Leesburg PD.

The Fruitland Park officer advised of a gray or silver Mazda SUV traveling south on US Highway 27. He voiced concern that the vehicle was going to cause a traffic crash due to its high rate of speed, the report said.

After receiving this information, Leesburg police responded to the area in search of the vehicle. About a minute later, an officer observed a vehicle matching the description traveling south on the highway near South and Center streets. The officer turned around and caught up with the vehicle, the report said.

As the officer was catching up, he watched the vehicle fail to maintain its lane and make sudden jerking motions to correct its actions. The officer proceeded to get behind Hayes and conducted a traffic stop. Initially, the vehicle was slow to pull over. It eventually came to a stop in the Muffler Man parking lot, located at the corner of South 14th and Main streets. The vehicle struck the concrete with its rear tire as it entered the lot, the report said.

The officer spoke with Hayes on the driver’s side of the vehicle. She was unable to provide her driver’s license, registration, or insurance. As the officer spoke with Hayes, he noticed the strong odor of alcohol. Her eyes also appeared to be glassy, and her pupils were constricted, the report said.

As a result, the officer asked Hayes to step out of the vehicle. She was unsteady on her feet as she walked to the front of the SUV. She agreed to participate in field sobriety exercises, and her poor performance led the officer to conclude she was driving under the influence. Hayes later advised she was on her way home from dropping her child off at a friend’s house in Summerfield, where she had about two drinks, the report said.

A search of the vehicle revealed multiple empty alcohol bottles and two open alcohol containers. An open Crystal Palace Deluxe vodka bottle was found behind the passenger seat, and an open Bud Light can was in the driver’s door pocket. Hayes later provided two breath samples that returned breath-alcohol readings of 0.240 and 0.233 – about three times the legal limit, the report said.

The Missouri native was charged with DUI (first or second offense). She was taken to the Lake County Jail and released after posting $1,000 bond.

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