The driving under the influence charges against suspended Atlantic Beach mayor Retha Pierce have been dropped according to a Marion County judge.
Pierce was charged with a misdemeanor DUI on September 16, 2009 after a traffic stop on U.S. 501 in Marion County. The jury trial she had requested related to the charge was scheduled to start today.
Judge Danny Barker II said that the charges were dismissed by the state. The state had made oral arguments that the breathalyzer came back 0.0 and the urine test came back clean and the only evidence was from a private witness that saw Pierce driving recklessly.
The private witness could seek other charges but no other charges related to the incident are expected from the state, Barker said.
The DUI charge was the fourth for the suspended mayor who was charged with hit and run/leaving the scene of an accident after a 51-year-old woman told police she was traveling south on U.S. 17 inside the Atlantic Beach town limits when her vehicle was sideswiped by a white Chevrolet Blazer in April 2010.
In January 2010, Pierce was arrested on a charge of trespassing at Town Hall after a dispute with staff members. She later filed suit stating the arrest was intended to prevent her from uncovering a larger conspiracy among the town's appointed officials.
In December 2007, she was charged with resisting arrest during a traffic stop in Little River. She later defended her actions and said she did not know she was expected to stay in her car after she was pulled over.