ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Well-known Orlando attorney Dan Newlin said he was treated differently when he was arrested for drunk driving because of who he is.
Newlin spent the night at the Orange County Jail after Orlando police charged him with driving while under the influence of alcohol.
The former sheriff’s detective walked out of jail shortly after 9 a.m. after posting $500 bond, and had a lot to say to reporters about his arrest, and the officer who detained him.
“Last night was a tough night,” said Newlin. “I love this community, but I’ll say one thing: 100 percent, the facts will show that Dan Newlin was not impaired while driving. He was not even cited for any traffic violations, had stopped to assist another motorist, a friend, and then was detained by an overzealous OPD officer that knew me by name and immediately detained me. And at that point, it was obvious a decision was made that he was going to take me to jail.”
Newlin, 43, said he took his friend out for an average night on the town. But it was what happened on the way home that got him in trouble.
According to the arrest report from Orlando police, Newlin and his friend, identified as Andreina Mujica, 29, were driving in separate cars on Conroy Road around 1 a.m. Friday.
Police said Mujica ran a red light at the Winter Garden Road intersection, and was pulled over.
Newlin also stopped and got out of his car. An officer at the scene said he smelled of alcohol and appeared to be staggering.
But Newlin said the arrest was a big mistake, adding that he was walking on a grassy median in the dark.
“How you can see one staggering when you’re walking through a grassy median makes no sense,” he said.
Newlin refused a field sobriety test, but told reporters he did offer to take a blood test.
“I was told when I arrived at the Orange County Jail that a blood test would be afforded to me,” he said. “Apparently there were some policy changes, and they’re no longer doing that. But I made an offer to take that blood test.”
But jail spokesman Allen Moore said they have never conducted blood tests.
“The Orange County Jail is not a law enforcement agency,” said Moore. “Therefore, we do not have any authority to do blood tests here, and generally, we have not done it to my knowledge in the past 14½ years. That is a law enforcement function, so that will be handled on the street, or a local DUI testing center.”
Newlin admitted to having two drinks, but said he was not over the legal blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent, and did not feel impaired when he got behind the wheel.
Mujica was also arrested and bonded out of jail. Police said she also smelled of alcohol.