Local Historic City News reporters learned that officers with the St Augustine Beach Police Department encountered ex-sheriff David B Shoar driving alone near Pope Road at A1A Beach Boulevard at about 9:00 p.m. on Friday after he failed to stop at a red traffic light.
According to Patrolman Brett A Adams, he observed a red Ford Explorer running the red light as it was making the turn on A1A Beach Boulevard.
“Before the traffic stop, I could smell the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle,” Patrolman Adams reported. “There were no other vehicles on the road at the time.”
Patrolman Adams approached the passenger-side door and contacted the sole occupant of the vehicle – beaches resident David Bernard Shoar, the former controversial sheriff of St Johns County. During the officer’s interaction with Shoar, he observed pieces of marijuana on the center console. Shoar exited the vehicle and allowed Patrolman Adams to perform a “probable cause search”, aided by Patrolman Christopher Bohannon.
Following the very strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, officers seized three marijuana cigarettes weighing about 8 grams. Shoar has a “medical marijuana” user card, however, officers found that the marijuana was not in its original packaging and a portion of the marijuana had been used inside the vehicle in violation of Florida law. The marijuana was collected at the scene and later submitted as evidence for destruction.
Patrolmen Adams and Bohannon used their discretion in deciding to make a verbal warning for both the traffic infraction and the misdemeanor possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle. Although it isn’t surprising that a “professional courtesy” was extended to Shoar, it certainly wasn’t the first time. Historic City News readers of the breaking story questioned the propriety of putting Shoar back on the road knowing he had been using the intoxicating, controlled substance.
Historic City News contacted the St Augustine Beach Police Department to clarify the unexpected conclusion of this call. Chief Daniel Carswell was not available; however, we were able to speak with Assistant Chief Harrell. “With 100% certainty,” Harrell explained, “had my officers believed that the driver was impaired from the marijuana use, he would have never been allowed to drive his motor vehicle home.”