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The Villages
Monday, January 30, 2023

Villager with Fireball whiskey in golf cart arrested near Morse Gate

Dean Hooks

A Villager with Fireball whiskey in his golf cart was arrested Thursday night near the Morse Boulevard Gate at County Road 466.

A witness contacted the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office after spotting the black Club Car golf cart at about 7:30 p.m. parked in the roadway. The caller believed the driver was under the influence.

A deputy who arrived on the scene found 45-year-old Dean Hooks, of the Village of De La Vista, sitting in the golf cart, which was facing south in the westernmost lane of Morse Boulevard at County Road 466, according to the arrest report. An ambulance crew arrived on the scene and determined he was not suffering a medical emergency.

A deputy suspected Hooks had been drinking.

The defendant had a difficult time answering simple questions (such as his name) and became very defensive when I asked his address and date of birth. I smelled a very strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from the defendant’s breath,” the deputy wrote in the arrest report.

Hooks failed field sobriety exercises and provided breath samples that registered .285 and .292 blood alcohol content.

An inventory of Hooks’ golf cart prior to towing turned up a 1.75 liter bottle of Fireball whiskey and a four-pack of plastic 50 milliliter bottles of Fireball whiskey.

Hooks refused to sign citations issued for driving under the influence and open container.

A criminal history check revealed Hooks had been convicted in 2000 on a charge of DUI in Orange County.

Hooks was booked at the Sumter County Detention Center on charges of driving under the influence and refusal to sign a citation. He was released after posting $2,500 bond.

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