SAN DIEGO- You may not know the name Stephanie Courtney, but if you have watched cable television since 2008 you will probably recognize her. Ms. Courtney is the comedian / actress who portrays “Flo”, an upbeat store employee for Progressive Corporation. Her popularity has been on the rise since Flo’s debut in 2008 being the subject of Halloween costumes and having over five million fans on her Facebook page called “Flo, the Progressive Girl”. She was called “the commercial break’s new sweetheart” in 2009 by the Boston Herald and has been the face for Progressive insurance in over 100 commercials. But on January 20, 2018 at 2:43am San Diego County Sheriff’s were dispatched to a single vehicle accident on Glasgow Avenue and found Stephanie Courtney drunk and behind the wheel of her crashed car.
Sheriff’s reported that Ms. Courtney was not apparently injured in the accident but was “visibly under the influence” of alcohol. One Sheriff said that her eyes were glassy and her speech was slurred but she was cooperative with Law Enforcement officers.
Stephanie reported that she had been drinking with some friends at The Shanty Cocktail Lounge, a little over half of a mile away, since about 9:00 on Friday night. She admitted to smoking a joint with a bartender before getting into her Mercedes -Benz and driving home. While making her way around a sharp turn from Chesterfield Drive to Glasgow Ave, Courtney reportedly lost control of her vehicle smashed against a guard rail before crossing lanes and coming to a stop against a tree. Officers report that speed was a factor.
What surprised officers more than finding Courtney drunk was her response when they asked her for her insurance card. Officer Margo stated that Courtney reported that she had backed into a garbage truck in October of 2017 and her premium increased. She refused to pay and her insurance coverage lapsed. “Courtney laughed, and said from now on she will think easier, think Progressive”.
Ms. Courtney had a blood alcohol content of .17, more than double the legal limit in California. She was transported to Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas where her examination revealed that she sustained no injuries. Courtney was released to the Sheriff’s Department and taken to the San Diego Jail after being arrested for charges including DUI-high rate of alcohol and Driving Vehicle Not Covered by Certificate of Proof of Financial Responsibility.
The maximum penalties for a misdemeanor first DUI conviction in California is a $1,000 fine plus over $2,600 in penalty assessments, six months’ imprisonment in the county jail, and a ten-month license suspension. It is not likely that Courtney will hear her catchphrase, “Name your own price”, when in a Courtroom, but with her$500,000 per year income “Flo” will probably not need community service to work off her fines.