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Key Largo Woman Arrested After Blaming Her Dog for Drunk Driving
By Rob Garguilo,
Key Largo, FL - A Key Largo woman has been arrested on DUI charges after she attempted to blame her Yorkshire terrier for her erratic driving when pulled over by deputies.
According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, 54-year-old Michele Lee Burke attracted law enforcement attention while driving on the Overseas Highway after failing to move into the left lane or slow down for deputies on the shoulder, as required by state law.
An MCSO sergeant, who was backing up another deputy on a traffic stop at mile marker 104, activated her lights and siren to pull Burke over.
Despite turning on her right blinker, Burke did not immediately pull over, eventually stopping on Avenue B.
At the time of the stop, Burke's Yorkshire terrier was sitting on her lap.
Burke tried to blame the dog for her driving behavior, but deputies noticed a "strong odor" of alcohol on her breath as she struggled to find her registration and proof of insurance.
Deputies also observed that Burke only had one eye and that her left eye appeared watery.
Following an initial attempted eye test, Burke was put through a field sobriety test.
When asked about any illnesses or injuries, she mentioned her one eye, which she followed with laughter.
Burke passed an initial eye test but refused to cooperate with other exercises, laughing and stating that she had seen them on Facebook.
Deputy Mario Marin arrived to conduct a walk-and-turn exercise, but Burke continued laughing and told him to "[expletive] off" while he explained the instructions.
Burke allegedly walked away from the exercise, stating "I don't care" and "I'm going to check on my dog."
Deputies attempted to arrest Burke, but she became "hostile," cursed at them, tensed up, and grabbed a deputy's finger.
After being cuffed and placed in a cruiser, she demanded to know where her dog was going and threatened to harm an officer.
Burke kicked deputies multiple times and continued to act aggressively before finally admitting to "having one too many that night."
She was booked into jail on a felony charge of resisting an officer with violence and a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence.