Wednesday, November 11, 2020
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The Villages

Villager arrested on DUI charge after nearly hitting pedestrian in parking lot

Bernadette McGinnis

A Villager was arrested on a drunk driving charge after nearly hitting a pedestrian in a parking lot at a busy shopping plaza in The Villages.

Bernadette McGinnis, 59, of the Village of Chatham, was at the wheel of a red Nissan Versa at about 9 a.m. Monday near Winn-Dixie at La Plaza Grande when she nearly backed into a pedestrian, according to an arrest report from the Lady Lake Police Department.

A witness said McGinnis parked in front of a nearby laundromat and nearly fell. An officer arrived on the scene and spotted an open cold can of Natural Light beer in the vehicle’s cupholder. There was also a pack of beer on the floor of the vehicle. McGinnis claimed she had only consumed one beer.

She struggled through field sobriety exercises and blamed her poor performance on ankle surgery she had years ago, the report said. She refused to provide a breath sample.

McGinnis was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and refusal to submit to a breath test. The New York native had been arrested in November 2014 after her vehicle ran off the road and crashed into a barbed wire fence.

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