Frank Taaffe, one of the first and most prominent supporters of murder suspect George Zimmerman, has resolved his DUI case by pleading no contest to a lesser charge and being placed on probation.
Taaffe was arrested July 27 after a bartender called police, saying that he'd just left the Lake Mary establishment where she worked, gotten behind the wheel of his car and appeared to be a danger.
He was pulled over a short time later. A pair of breath-alcohol tests put his alcohol level at 0.202 and 0.197, well above the state limit of 0.08.
He was charged with drunken driving but on Nov. 7 pleaded no contest to a lesser charge -- reckless driving related to alcohol use.
He was placed on probation for six months and was ordered to do 25 hours of community service, get counseling and to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings regularly.
Taaffe was a friend of Zimmerman and also a Neighborhood Watch volunteer, although, he was not with the second-degree murder defendant the night he shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old.
In the days following the shooting, the case became a civil rights cause celebre and Zimmerman had few defenders. Taaffe was the first, telling reporters that Zimmerman was a good man who was concerned about a spate of recent burglaries in the subdivision.
Defense attorney Robert B. Fisher said that Taaffe wanted to get the misdemeanor case behind him. Taaffe's association with Zimmerman, Fisher said, had complicated and added stress to Taaffe's life.
"Frank is now on the right path," Fisher said. "This is actually what he needed to get straightened out."
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