Upper Keys doctor charged with DUI for allegedly driving wrong way on U.S. 1, causing crash

July 23, 2014 

A Tavernier dermatologist was jailed Monday after he allegedly drove the wrong way on U.S. 1 while drunk and struck another auto.

Leslie Safer, 63, faces a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence and causing property damage for the incident, which happened around 9:25 p.m. at mile marker 85 oceanside in Islamorada.

The Florida Highway Patrol had also charged Safer with felony possession of prescription drugs with intent to sell, but Monroe County Judge Regan Ptomey apparently tossed that charge at a Tuesday hearing on Plantation Key.

According to state troopers, Safer was driving a 2006 Ford south on U.S. 1 in the northbound lane, approaching Dogwood Lane, while Kathleen Harley (or Lewis, both names are used in FHP documents) was driving a 1999 Ford north in the correct lane. She slowed to avoid a collision but wasn't able to avoid Safer's car.

A passenger in Safer's car, Maxine Starr, 24, of Tavernier was treated at Mariners Hospital.

When troopers arrived at the crash scene, Safer reportedly gave them "incoherent responses and comments."

Safer was freed on his own recognizance and ordered not to drink alcohol or take illegal substances while the case is pending. His next court date is Aug. 6 in front of Circuit Court Judge Luis Garcia.

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