Hillsborough County
Chad Chronister, Sheriff
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    Release Number: 15-366

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • July 16, 2015
    • Contact Person:
    • Public Information Office : piooffice@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813/247-8060

    Wrong-Way Driver DUI Investigation

    Deputy encounters wrong-way driver.
    • Wednesday
    • July 15, 2015
    • Time: 3:05 AM
    • Interstate 4 in the area of Highway 579


    Laurie Lynn Oneal
    DOB: 9/22/60
    12406 N. 15th St.
    Tampa, FL


    • Felony DUI (4th Subsequent Violation)
    • Driving While License Suspended
    • Refusal to Submit to Testing



    On July 15, 2015 at 3:05 a.m., an HCSO deputy was eastbound on I-4 in the area of Hwy 579, when he observed the headlights of a vehicle coming westbound towards him and oncoming traffic. He was in a marked patrol vehicle and activated the emergency lights and siren on the vehicle in an attempt to gain the attention of the wrong-way driver and to alert drivers behind him. He took evasive actions to avoid a collision and made a U-turn and began to follow the vehicle, using the siren, horn and PA system in an attempt to gain the driver's attention. He pulled up next to the vehicle and could see the driver's window was down. He lowered his passenger side window and yelled for the driver to stop the vehicle and pull over. She acknowledged by saying "ok." As he saw the vehicle slowing, he gradually positioned his patrol vehicle in front of the vehicle, until it stopped. Prior to this, the driver's speed was 50-60mph and she traveled 1.2 miles.

    The female was taken from her vehicle and identified as Laurie Lynn Oneal. The odor of an alcoholic beverage was detected on Oneal's breath and a DUI investigation was commenced. Oneal has at least 2 prior arrests for DUI out of Hillsbourough and Pinellas counties. Oneal was charged with Felony-DUI (4th Subsequent Violation), Driving While License Suspended and Refusal to Submit to Testing.

    Just prior to the deputy encountering the vehicle, there was one report of the vehicle initially driving properly on I-4 eastbound, then it abruptly slowed and made a U-turn to go westbound in the eastbound lanes. This was reported as occurring near the weigh station on Interstate 4, by McIntosh Rd.

  • Sheriff Chad Chronister
    Sheriff Chad Chronister
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