Villager suspected of DUI arrested after tripped up at Hemingway gate

Patricia Lewis

A Villager suspected of drunk driving was arrested after she was tripped up at the gate at the entrance to the Village of Hemingway.

Patricia Lewis, 73, of the Village of Bonita, had been at the wheel of a silver Honda Civic and weaving in a lane of traffic at about 6:30 p.m. Monday while traveling northbound on Morse Boulevard just north of County Road 466A when she was spotted by a Sumter County sheriff’s deputy. The deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but Lewis continued through a roundabout on Morse Boulevard and attempted to pass through the gate at the entrance to the Village of Hemingway.

The vehicle came to a stop approximately 4 feet away from the gate access terminal located on the driver’s side of the vehicle. I observed the driver’s arm extend out of the vehicle with what appeared to be a gate key card attempting to open the gate. However, the driver’s arm was still approximately 2 feet away; I observed the driver’s arm attempt this approximately 4 times,” the deputy wrote in the arrest report.

Lewis told the deputy she was attempting to get through the gate before coming to a halt for the traffic stop. The deputy informed Lewis the traffic stop would take place right where they were.

The defendant mumbled incoherent words under her breath before advising she just returned from Greece and was helping a friend move. The defendant had glassy, bloodshot eyes with an odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from her breath. The defendant fumbled with her wallet before removing her registration,” the report said.

Lewis admitted she’d consumed “two cocktails” at about 5 p.m. that day.

The Illinois native struggled through field sobriety exercises and at one point complained, “I couldn’t do this if I was sober.”

She provided breath samples that registered .148 and .143 blood alcohol content. She was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence and issued a written warning for careless driving. She was booked at the Sumter County Detention Center and released after posting $500 bond.