Video shows Avon Park Rep. Pigman's DUI arrest

- A Florida lawmaker was arrested last month for DUI and recently released dash-cam video may shed light on why.

Video from Florida Highway Patrol dash cameras shows Avon Park Representative Cary Pigman swerving in and out of lanes on the Florida Turnpike for several minutes, while troopers observe from behind.

It was around 11:30 p.m. on March 23. For six minutes, the video shows Pigman's Jeep drift back and forth, and across lanes. After one final swerve, troopers activated their lights and sirens.

"Are there reasons why you couldn't maintain the lane? Medical reasons," asked a trooper once Pigman was out of the vehicle. "Diabetes? Anything like that? No? Did you have anything to drink tonight? No?"

However, one of the troopers spotted something on the front passenger's seat, according to FHP.

"You had a beverage open," said the trooper. "What kind of beverage was that?"

"Wine," Pigman answered.

"A wine?" the trooper asked. "Were you drinking that wine tonight?"

"No," Pigman answered.

"No? It's open though," the trooper said.

Pigman told them he was driving from Tallahassee to Okeechobee. And then they found out why.

"What were you doing in Tallahassee? If you don't mind me asking," said a trooper.

"I'm a state representative," Pigman said.

Eventually, troopers led Pigman toward their vehicle. The video shows Pigman stumble and hold onto the guard rail. Once stabilized, a trooper holds his arm as they continue walking.

Pigman's blood alcohol level was sampled at 0.14 and 0.15, nearly twice the legal limit. Since the charge is a misdemeanor, not a felony, he faced no automatic disciplinary action in the House. However, Pigman did resign from the House Health Quality Subcommittee he chaired.

We showed the video to the co-founder of Hillsborough County's Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Linda Unfried.

"I'm shocked. I'm frustrated," Unfried said. "I'm disappointed because he, of all people, should have known better. Just to know they should be making the laws and they should be paying attention to the law."

She and others from MADD have been in Tallahassee, advocating to lawmakers like Pigman for tougher drunk driving laws.

The message apparently isn't getting across. The latest data from 2015 shows that 797 people died in drunk driving crashes in Florida. That's up 103 from the previous year, with Hillsborough County ranked No. 1.

"Why aren't people listening? It's such a simple message and it's a 100 percent preventable crime and we are still dealing with it," Unfried said. "People use the word 'drunk' and they think you have to be falling down drunk not to drive. No. It's 'impairment' and that's where we are losing the message to people. It's impairment and that's the key word."

After his arrest, Pigman released a statement saying, "I want to apologize to my family, my constituents, and my colleagues in the legislature for the embarrassment this has caused me and them."

We contacted his office regarding the new video, but they gave no further response.

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