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Hillsborough County Vice Mayor Charged with DUI after Multi-Vehicle Collision

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on August 15, 2020

Authorities with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office have started an in-depth investigation into a drunk driving accident involving multiple vehicles that occurred on August 12th, 2020. Early police reports indicate that the suspect who allegedly caused the chain-reaction collision is a longtime public official for the city of Oldsmar.

It was close to 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning when the first set of 9-1-1 calls began to light up the switchboards of the local emergency response centers. According to these witnesses who were in the area at the time of the collision, a red Tesla was seen driving erratically at a high rate of speed along Race Track Road and W. Hillsborough Avenue in Hillsborough County. As the seemingly out-of-control vehicle raced towards the intersection, it crashed into the back-end of the car in front of them, which caused that vehicle to rear-end the car in front of them.

Upon arriving at the scene, deputies immediately recognized the smell of alcohol and instructed the driver of the Tesla to step out of the vehicle. As she did so, officers were made aware of her physical impairments, as her speech was slurred and she was uneasy on her feet once out of the vehicle. After reviewing her license and registration, they identified the driver to be 59-year-old Linda Norris – resident, city council member, and Vice Mayor of Oldsmar in Hillsborough County. Once deputies were able to thoroughly search the Tesla, they found an opened bottle of Fireball in the center console, as well as two more unopened bottles in her purse. After failing the field sobriety tests that were administered by officers and refusing to submit a breathalyzer test, Norris was arrested for her third DUI offense and charged with one count of driving under the influence, third conviction and one count of refusal to submit to testing.

It is unknown at this time if Norris will retain her status within the local government, however, a statement to News Channel 8 from Oldsmar Mayor Eric Seidel brings a little clarification to the situation. “The city council does have the ability to remove someone from office, it’s a process. It’s under certain conditions, in reviewing the charter, I believe these conditions would qualify,” he said.

Remarkably, no one was hurt in this drunk driver accident, although injuries such as whiplash and back or neck pain can sometimes take days to manifest.


James O. Cunningham

James O. CunninghamSince 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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