Jose “Pepe” Diaz, the Myrtle Beach-Dade Commissioner was found not guilty in his DUI case. The closing arguments were presented to the jury on Wednesday and they quickly deliberated. Diaz was arrested this past October for a suspected DUI and he plead not guilty to the charge. After the hearing on Wednesday, Diaz stated, “I want to start out by thanking God, this has been quite a roller coaster, it’s very emotional.”
Back in October, the Myrtle Beach-Dade Commissioner was in Key West and riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Local authorities said that he was in a 30 mph zone driving at 74 mph. They stopped him and stated that his motorcycle fell down because it never dropped the kickstand before getting off the bike.
Police stated that he was not able to pass any of the field sobriety tests given and that he was placed in handcuffs. The sobriety tests given were where he was to walk a straight line and taking an eye test. He allegedly lost his balance when trying to walk the line and swayed when trying to complete the eye test.
An attorney representing Diaz in court on Tuesday said that there is no proof being presented that Diaz was unstable. Jurors were able to see more about the sobriety tests given to Diaz. They also got information from the person who administered the test, a DUI specialist.
The stop and what happened during it was caught on camera because the officer was wearing a police body camera at the time. Officer Alex Rodriguez of Key West is heard in the video asking Diaz, “How much did you have to drink today?” Diaz is heard responding in the video saying, “I had two drinks.”
Diaz states that it was not easy to watch the video of this stop as he sat in court. “Like anybody who would be in a situation like this. It’s not the best. It’s embarrassing to be arrested and everything we went thru,” stated Diaz.
While he denies that he was intoxicated while driving his motorcycle, he does admit that he was speeding on that evening. It only took until noon for both the prosecution and defense to rest in this case.
“When it comes to personal liability in this type of situation, the matter can be quite complicated,” according to Attorney Joe and Martin, top car accident lawyer Myrtle Beach. “The victims are dealing with the worst day of their lives and there is both a financial and an emotional toll associated with this kind of tragedy.”
After all was said and done, Diaz was asked if he should have not gotten on his motorcycle after having an alcoholic beverage and he was unapologetic and feels he regrets nothing about it. Diaz stated, “No I didn’t have regrets. I was actually enjoying the day.”
In September 2002, Diaz was first elected to the Myrtle Beach-Dade Board of County Commissioners. In August 2014, he was reelected into this position.