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The Villages
Sunday, June 13, 2021

Construction company owner arrested on DUI charge near Interstate 75

James Thomas Wright
James Thomas Wright Jr.

A Lady Lake man who owns a construction company that does work in The Villages was arrested on a drunk driving charge after he was found with an open beer in his vehicle near Interstate 75.

James Thomas Wright Jr., 59, was found sleeping at 10:55 p.m. Wednesday in his vehicle in the left turn lane of County Road 470 in Sumterville which is the northbound entrance to I-75, according to an arrest report from the Florida Highway Patrol.

The trooper who arrived on the scene could smell alcohol when he approached Wright.

Mr. Wright stated, he was at his office in Wildwood all day and was now heading home to Lady Lake. He stated numerous times, that he knows he should not have been driving and that this incident was going to ruin his name,” the trooper wrote in the report.

Wright’s HIW Construction office is located at 807 S. Main St. in Wildwood.

“We are particularly proud of our extensive residential and commercial work in The Villages community in central Florida,” the HIW Construction website proclaims next to a copy of The Villages’ official logo.

Wright admitted he had consumed a six-pack of Michelob Ultra Light beer. He started drinking at 7 p.m. and the sixth beer was found in the cupholder of his vehicle, the report said.

Wright declined to participate in field sobriety exercises. He also refused to provide a breath sample. The arrest report noted that Wright had a prior suspension for refusal to submit to a breath test.

He was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and refusal to submit to a breath test. He was booked at the Sumter County Detention Center and released after posting $1,000 bond.

Wright had been drinking prior to an arrest in 2015 in which he was tasered by law enforcement.

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