Florida Firefighter Charged with DUI in Sarasota Area

A Sarasota firefighter was arrested for driving under the influence in neighboring Manatee County early Saturday morning. Derek Patrick Maxwell flipped his car and ended up in the trees and bushes in a highway median around 1:00 am. Maxwell was in his full firefighting uniform at the time of the accident. He admitted to consuming six beers and two bourbon shots at a nearby restaurant. Maxwell refused to submit to a breath test to check his blood alcohol content.

Two fire chiefs who arrived on the scene to collect the fire department gear said that Maxwell exhibited dramatic mood swings, from anger to crying to shouting to banging his head in the patrol vehicle. When he removed his firefighting pants, a Florida State Patrol trooper observed that Maxwell had urinated on himself and reeked of alcohol.

Maxwell, 24, was booked on a charge of Florida DUI with property damage. He told an arresting trooper that he planned to say in his defense that he had been framed by the Sarasota Sheriff’s Department.

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