Drunk driver blames 119 MDMA pills on wife. Then he changed his mind, police said.


A drunk driver police chase turned up 119 pills of ecstacy Sunday morning.

A deputy responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle at 9100 NW 143rd Street at 7:17 a.m., according to an Alachua County Sheriff’s Office report.

The deputy was told that witnesses saw people staggering around a parked pick-up truck, but it was gone when the deputy arrived, the report said. After a quick search, he found the truck.

Nicholas Eckblad, 35, of Gainesville, was accused of driving the truck north on Northwest 143rd Street and swerving into the opposite lanes as he sped away from the deputy, the report said.

After running a stop sign and continuing to swerve, Eckblad abruptly slowed and stopped, the report said. He got out of the car and laid on the ground.

When the deputy searched the truck he saw an unresponsive passenger in the front seat, the report said. He also found an open container of alcohol, two pill bottles and two glass pipes.

One of the pill bottles was prescribed to Eckblad and the other had 119 pills of ecstasy, the report said. He first said the ecstasy belonged to his wife but later said he didn’t know where they were from.

During the investigation, Eckblad had slurred speech, red glassy eyes and his breath smelled like alcohol, the report said. He admitted to drinking three shots of vodka before driving.

Eckblad was charged with driving under the influence, trafficking in controlled substances, fleeing from law enforcement, possession of drug paraphernalia and knowingly driving with a suspended or revoked license, the report said.

He remained in the Alachua County Jail Monday in lieu of a $86,000 bond.

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