Woman arrested for DUI, child unbuckled in car after tow-truck driver alerts police

WEST PALM BEACH — A 31-year-old woman whose blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit as she drove in suburban West Palm Beach with a 3-year-old child unbuckled in the backseat was arrested this weekend, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

On Saturday, Brandy Lerma of Boynton Beach was driving southbound on Haverhill Road near Belvedere Road when a tow-truck driver noticed she was "zig-zagging in and out of lanes," a sheriff's report said.

“I was afraid she was going to kill someone,” Juan Martinez wrote in his witness statement.

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Martinez called 911 and followed Lerma in the gold Chevrolet until deputies pulled up beside him and pulled her over. The deputy said Lerma was driving in between lanes along Haverhill when she was pulled over.

When the deputy approached the car, the deputy said the child was standing in the backseat of the car without any kind of restraint.

“I was greeted with an extremely strong odor of an unknown type of alcoholic beverage,” a deputy wrote. “The odor grew stronger as she spoke.”

During her DUI roadside tasks, in which Lerma was asked to walk and turn and stand on one leg, deputies said she fell twice to the ground.

Breathalyzer results show she blew a .200 and then a .187, according to the report. The legal limit for intoxication in Florida is .08. Lerma told deputies she took Percocet, a pain killer, and Xanax, a sedative, and had consumed “two fireball drinks.”

Lerma faces several charges including DUI and child abuse. She was released on $3,000 bond from the Palm Beach County Jail on Sunday, according to court records.

Lerma has had several traffic tickets, including multiple citations for not wearing a seat belt or for passengers younger than 18 years old not wearing a seat belt.