MANGO — When Alicia Michel Belcher's passenger got out of her pickup truck on Interstate 4 during an argument Thursday night, she could have kept on driving.
Instead, deputies say the 38-year-old Plant City woman chose the option that landed her in jail.
Belcher, driving with nearly three times the blood-alcohol level at which the state presumes impairment, drove across all three lanes of I-4 and ran down the passenger, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
The passenger suffered life-threatening injuries. The Sheriff's Office did not release the name or any other information about the passenger because of the agency's interpretation of a state constitutional amendment, known as Marsy's Law, designed to bolster rights of crime victims.
The Sheriff's Office gave this account of the incident:
The incident started shortly after 7 p.m. Belcher and her passenger got into an argument — the details of which were not revealed by deputies — while driving east on I-4. Jail records show she was driving a Ford F-150 pickup.
Belcher stopped the vehicle and her passenger got out and walked across the interstate. Belcher then intentionally steered the Ford across I-4, struck her former passenger, then drove away. When deputies caught up with her on Mango Road, just north of E Hillsborough Avenue, they said she showed signs of impairment.
A Breathalyzer exam revealed that her blood-alcohol levels were 0.219 and 0.210, according to the Sheriff's Office. Under Florida a driver is presumed impaired at a level of .08 or higher under Florida law.
Belcher was booked into the Hillsborough County jail on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon causing great bodily harm, DUI resulting in seriously bodily injury and leaving the scene of a crash with serious bodily injury.
She was being held Thursday without bail.
The injured passenger was taken to Tampa General Hospital for treatment. No other information about their medical condition was released.
Contact Tony Marrero at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.