Florida Vice Mayor Takes the Party on the Road in Her Tesla, Crashes

Florida Vice Mayor stands outside her Tesla after causing a DUI 3-car pileup 1 photo
Photo: Facebook / Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
Teslas often make the headlines and come under fire for alleged misuses or malfunctions of Autopilot. This is not one of those times, and neither are we dealing with a regular Floridian.
Politicians are also humans, but they’re leaders first and foremost. Or they should be. This Floridian happens to be the Vice Mayor of Oldsmar, Pinellas County, and she was arrested for DUI after she caused a three-vehicle crash while at the wheel of her Tesla.

Linda Norris, 59, was arrested earlier this week and charged with two counts, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office informs: driving under the influence (her third strike so far) and refusal to submit to alcohol testing after failing several field sobriety tests. Troopers were called at the scene by concerned drivers who had noticed a red Tesla driving chaotically. When they arrived, it had caused a 3-car crash.

Police say that Norris failed to stop in time and rear-ended the Toyota in front, which, in turn, was rammed into the pickup in front. Norris was compliant with the officers, but it immediately became apparent that she was slurring her words and was unsteady on her feet. Asked where she was coming from and where she was going, she couldn’t provide an answer.

And get this: police found an open bottle of Canadian whiskey Fireball inside the car, and two more closed bottles of liquor in her purse. Wherever she was going, she wasn’t going to let the party end.

It could be that Norris is struggling with addiction, which would explain her recklessness at the wheel. That shouldn’t mean a lighter punishment for what she did, though, Sheriff Chad Chronister tells the Tampa Bay Times.

“It's infuriating to know some drivers have no respect for the law or the lives around them,” Chronister explains. “Furthermore, Linda Norris is a public official and should behave accordingly. Instead, she serves as an example of our commitment to identifying and catching those who break the law, no matter who they are.”

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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