Marco Island city employee pleads no contest to DUI charge
Marco Island’s purchasing and risk manager Lina Upham pleaded no contest to a DUI first offense charge Monday morning at the Collier County Courthouse.
Upham, 35, was arrested July 7 after witnesses said she crossed the center median and crashed her vehicle into the water near Collier Boulevard and Championship Drive.
Collier County Judge Michael Brown adjudicated Upham guilty and sentenced her to 12 months of probation and 50 hours of community service. Brown also revoked her driver’s license for 12 months.
Upham will have to pay fines of $1,000 plus 5 percent, $388 in court costs and $50 for the cost of prosecution. All of the fines were due Monday.
As part of her sentencing, Upham’s vehicle will be impounded for 10 days and she will undergo a substance abuse evaluation and have to attend a victim impact panel and DUI school.
She will also have to comply with alcohol restrictions and random blood alcohol content tests.
Collier County Sheriff's Office deputies were dispatched at 4:17 p.m. July 7 and found Upham's white Cadillac Escalade partially submerged.
According to the Sheriff's Office report, one witness said Upham was traveling north on Collier Boulevard at a high rate of speed before crossing into oncoming traffic and landing in the water.
Another witness said Upham struck the mangroves before landing in the water, where she was assisted out of her vehicle by a good Samaritan. At that time the person reported he "smelled alcohol on Upham" and described her as having "an unsteady gaze and balance."
Emergency personnel who arrived on the scene also stated Upham told them "she should not have been driving because she had drank too much."
The incident report states Upham told deputies that another person was driving her vehicle while she was performing a sex act on him.
All of the witnesses to the crash, however, stated Upham was the only person in the vehicle, the report states.
During their interaction with Upham at the emergency room, deputies noted "Upham's eyes were bloodshot and glassy, her speech was slurred and it seemed difficult for her to stay focused on one topic, and her movements were slow and labored."
Upham at one point pulled an IV from her arm and attempted to leave.
Deputies placed Upham under arrest and took her to the Naples Jail Center, where she refused a breath test. She was released from jail July 8 after posting a $1,000 bond.
Upham's tenure with Marco Island began eight years ago when she was hired as an intern.
She was hired full time for a position in the Growth Management Department before shifting to the Finance Department, where she rose to her current rank.