Rabbi from Temple Shalom arrested on drunk driving charge

Zev Tein Sonnenstein

A rabbi from Temple Shalom has been arrested on a drunk driving charge.

Zev Tein Sonnenstein, 56, had been at the wheel of a white Nissan utility vehicle at 11:11 p.m. Saturday when it began to “sway heavily” taking up two lanes of travel on Buena Vista Boulevard in the area of Stillwater Trail, according to an arrest report from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

Sonnenstein’s eyes were bloodshot and he “had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage” coming from his breath, according to the report. He admitted he had been drinking, but “didn’t think it was very much.” His speech was heavily slurred.

Rabbi Zev Sonnenstein, right, was installed in May by Rabbi Richard Chizever.

The Brooklyn, N.Y. native who lives in the Villages of Parkwood struggled through field sobriety exercises and nearly fell onto another deputy. The exercises were stopped out of concern for Sonnenstein’s safety. He refused to provide a breath sample. A check revealed he had been convicted on a DUI charge in 2003 in New York. He was booked at the Sumter County Detention Center and released after posting $2,000 bond.

Sonnenstein was installed in May as rabbi at Temple Shalom, which is located in Oxford.