Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Oh Florida! Woman passes out in car, gets charged with DUI, sues state over charges

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A Riverview woman is throwing that whole “taking responsibility” thing out the window. Jessica Nicole Kerns is suing the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to overturn a DUI charge resulting from an incident in March in which Kerns was arrested.

According to the lawsuit filed in late May, Kerns was found asleep in her car at about 1:30 in the morning on March 7. Sleeping in a car isn’t typically all that big of a deal, but in this case Kerns was reportedly stopped in the left-turn lane at the intersection of I-75 and Gibsonton Drive.

Her car was reportedly running and in gear and police said they had a difficult time even waking the sleeping Kerns.

She was subsequently arrested for DUI after refusing a breath test.

Instead of realizing it could have been worse, as in she could have been struck by a car while sitting idle in an intersection, Kerns just wants the whole thing to go away.

Who wouldn’t? That’s an embarrassing little tale right there.

Her attorney, Anthony Polumbo III, argues there is insufficient evidence the stop was illegal. He argues the case should be dropped because “the probable cause affidavit submitted was not properly sworn to prior to the hearing.”

Oh, and this wasn’t Kern’s first DUI charge. In 2013 she pled guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving after being arrested for DUI.

During her latest arrest, Kern’s reportedly asked officers to “cut me some slack” because she “already went through this once.”

If ever there was a good reason to not charge someone with a DUI, it’s because they’ve already gotten one.

Nope, not how the world works.

Chalk this one up to another “oh, Florida” headline.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

Latest from The Bay and the 'Burg

Go to Top