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The Villages
Saturday, May 8, 2021

Lake Sumter Apartment Homes resident arrested on DUI after leaving work

Aaron Copeland
Aaron Copeland

A Lake Sumter Apartment Homes resident was arrested on a drunk driving charge after leaving work at about midnight.

Sumter County sheriff’s deputies responded at 6:40 a.m. Saturday to a reckless driving complaint regarding an eastbound vehicle on County Road 466 near Morse Boulevard.

A deputy spotted a four-door Acura that was swerving. The deputy’s patrol car was behind the Acura when the driver put it in reverse and began backing toward the squad car. The female deputy said she had to open her door and yell at the driver to stop.

The driver was identified as 37-year-old Aaron Barry Copeland, who lives at the new apartment complex on County Road 466 at Cherry Lake Road in Lady Lake. A check revealed he had a valid Maryland driver’s license.

Prior to field sobriety exercises, Copeland indicated he might be diabetic. A Sumter County American Medical Response ambulance responded to the scene of the traffic stop and checked Copeland’s blood sugar, which appeared to be normal. The Asbury Park, N.J. native indicated he had gotten off work at midnight. He had “red, watery eyes” and the deputy “could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person,” according to the arrest report.

He failed field sobriety exercises and provided breath samples that measured .130 and .129 blood alcohol content.

During an inventory of his vehicle, a bag containing four grams of heroin was found in the glovebox. As he was being booked at the Sumter County Detention Center, he was asked if he was in possession of any contraband. He said he was not.

As he was removing his socks, a clear bag containing small rocks of cocaine fell to the ground.

He was booked at the jail on charges of driving under the influence, heroin trafficking, possession of cocaine and attempting to smuggle contraband into a detention facility. He was booked on $30,000 bond.

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