[PHOTO CREDIT: iStock / Garrett Aitken]
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MOUNT DORA, Florida – A Mount Dora police officer jailed one of the city’s residents Wednesday for the offense of curbside drinking. According to the probable cause affidavit filed against Bobby L. Gilmore, 35, “Sgt. Thibodeau observed Gilmore drinking a Natural Ice (Beer) on [the] Hackett Street roadway. Gilmore advised he was not drinking the beer, however, he asked Sgt. Thibodeau to dispose [of] the beer and let him go home.” Although Gilmore was arrested “[b]ased on Sgt. Thibodeau[‘s] observation”, Gilmore was promptly released on his own recognizance when he appeared before a judge for first appearance.
Based upon the same facts Thibodeau used to arrest Gilmore, the first appearance judge found “that there is a lack of evidence that the defendant committed the offense with which he/she is accused, and it is hereby Ordered and Adjudged that the Sheriff or Chief of Police having custody is directed to forthwith release the defendant from custody on defendant’s own recognizance, subject to defendant appearing at all subsequent court proceedings upon proper notice.”
Florida Stat. 562.453 – the law Thibodeau used against Gilmore – specifically excludes “malt beverages of legal alcoholic content” from the law’s broader prohibition against consuming an “intoxicating liquor… at curb or drive-in stands, except within the building which is the address of the person holding a license for the sale of such intoxicating liquors.”
James Hope is a Florida Bar Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer who has been practicing criminal law in Tavares, Florida, since 1987. He has also been the Publisher and Executive Editor of Lake Legal News since 2009. He may be contacted at LakeLegalNews@gmail.com, or through his website at www.AttorneyJamesHope.com. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]