Flagler County Sheriff pulls over felon from Palatka for DUI

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A Palatka man with a previous felony conviction was pulled over by Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly on Monday morning after he appeared to be driving under the influence, according to a release from FCSO.

Arthur James Cole, 33, was booked into the Flagler County Jail on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence, according to Flagler County Jail records. The arrest was caught on body-worn camera video:

Staly said he was on his way to the Kim C. Hammond Justice Center in Bunnell “when he spotted Cole driving a white 2014 Dodge Charger erratically on State Road 100 near County Road 302 just before 10 a.m. Monday,” the release said.

Cole almost hit another car head-on, but the car swerved into the grassy shoulder to avoid him, Staly said.

When Staly began to conduct the traffic stop by turning on his emergency lights, Cole didn’t pull over at first. When he did pull over, FCSO said Cole had trouble putting the car in park and started to back up instead.

Staly noticed that Cole had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, seemed lethargic and had trouble following directions, FCSO said. Cole was placed under arrest after deputies said he failed field sobriety tests.

FCSO said Cole’s blood alcohol level was measured by a Breathalyzer as 0.65 an hour after his arrest.

“To be this impaired at 9:30 in the morning indicates he must have been really drunk earlier,” Staly said.

Cole previously served a year in prison in 2008 for selling cocaine in Putnam County.

He was released Monday night after posting a $1,000 bond on the DUI charge.

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