CLEARWATER - Luke Lirot, a prominent First Amendment lawyer based in Tampa, was arrested Thursday on drunken driving charges.
Lirot, 47, whose clients include nude club owner Joe Redner, was released from the Pinellas County Jail at 11 a.m. Thursday after posting $250 bail.
Lirot said he drank wine with a new client at the Palm restaurant in Tampa, then continued the evening elsewhere.
"I certainly didn't feel that I was impaired," said Lirot, who plans to hire an attorney to fight the charge.
Christopher Maul, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper, pulled Lirot over at 2:55 a.m. at State Road 60 and Sky Harbor Drive, a block from Lirot's Clearwater home. Lirot was driving a 2001 black Chevrolet Tahoe with a broken headlight.
Lirot had bloodshot, watery eyes and smelled of alcohol, according to an arrest report. He failed roadside sobriety tests, the report said.
Lirot refused to take a test to measure his blood-alcohol level, prompting an automatic one-year suspension of a driver's license, the FHP said.
"I don't place a lot of faith in those," Lirot said of the tests.
Lirot said he will get a special license for business purposes only. He has a Jan. 15 court date.
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