A 54-year-old Florida woman faces multiple charges after deputies say she drove under the influence and the wrong way on Airport-Pulling Road, crashing into a car and then leading deputies on a pursuit early this morning.
Deputies said Melissa A. Jeffries was driving a white Toyota Camry heading south in the northbound lanes of Airport-Pulling Road near the intersection with Vanderbilt Beach Road shortly after midnight.
A CCSO deputy was in his marked patrol vehicle on Vanderbilt just west of Airport when he heard a loud crash to the east, saw a cloud of dust, and then the white Camry, with Jeffries behind the wheel, heading south on Airport away from the crash.
The Camry had damage to the front, including a flat tire and a missing headlight on the driver’s side.
The deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the Camry, but Jeffries ignored the emergency lights and sirens and kept on going, swerving, spinning her tires, and striking a curb in the process.
Deputies deployed stop sticks during the pursuit and Jeffries drove over them.
The pursuit ended after deputies forced the Camry to a safe stop on Collier Boulevard near the intersection with Pine Ridge Road.
According to the arrest report, Jeffries had a strong odor of alcohol on her breath, was unsteady on her feet and was swaying.
She told paramedics she had been at a Christmas party. At one point she almost fell, requiring a first responder to catch her to avoid falling.
She refused the deputy’s request for a breath sample to determine her breath alcohol content.
Jeffries was taken into custody and charged with DUI with injuries/property damage and fleeing and eluding.
She was also charged with hit and run with injuries after deputies learned the driver of the vehicle she struck suffered injuries to his legs. The injuries were not serious and the driver refused medical treatment.