TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A 22-year-old Sarasota man is now facing multiple charges after the Florida Highway Patrol says he drove under the influence and the wrong way on the Howard Frankland Bridge early Sunday morning, crashing into four cars and damaging several others.
Troopers say Jason Arellano Martinez was driving a white 2018 Ford Fusion around 1:30 a.m. onto I-275 from 22nd Avenue N. in the wrong direction in St. Petersburg.
Multiple witnesses told FHP Arellano Martinez drove the wrong way as he traveled northbound in the southbound lanes to the Howard Frankland Bridge.
Troopers say the 22-year-old hit four cars and caused debris to hit an additional six vehicles.
An arrest report from FHP said he had glassy and watery eyes, slurred speech, a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, and was swaying.
After having his Miranda Rights read to him, troopers say Arellano Martinez admitted to drinking multiple margaritas at a hotel with friends in St. Pete and at Park and Rec, a bar located in downtown St. Pete.
The Florida Highway Patrol says the 22-year-old admitted to driving at the time of the crash, however, said he was unaware he was driving on the wrong side of the interstate for 13 miles.
According to the arrest report, Arellano Martinez also had multiple small sealed jars containing marijuana and a pipe in his car.
He was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail and was later released after posting a $2,000 bond.
He faces the following charges:
- Driving under the influence with property damage or personal injury
- Public use of marijuana by a qualified patient or caregiver
- Possession of cannabis less than 20 grams
- Possession of drug paraphernalia