Leading up to the holidays, state and local officials issued stern warnings about the dangers of drinking and driving – not to mention the costs to your reputation and pocketbook.
The warnings have come from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles division of the Florida Highway Patrol, Attorney General Ashley Moody and our deputies and police officers working the local beats.
The message has been clear and consistent – Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
Despite the warnings, we’ve had some embarrassing arrests for Villagers in the days preceding Christmas:
• A Villager who reportedly started imbibing at The Villages Christmas Parade, crashed her golf cart about seven hours later near TooJay’s Gourmet Deli at Lake Sumter Landing. She and a passenger were knocked from the golf cart. Both were taken to local hospitals. The Villager, who provided breath samples that registered .249 and .246 blood alcohol content, is facing charges of driving under the influence and disorderly conduct.
• A Village of Fenney woman was arrested after leaving Brownwood Paddock Square and stopping her golf cart for a pee break. An officer spotted her and noticed her purple golf cart was loaded with an assortment of liquor, including Platinum 7X Vodka, Fireball Whiskey and Michelob Ultra beer. She provided breath samples that measured .139 and .143 blood alcohol content. She was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence.
• A Village of Santiago man was driving a golf cart when he crashed into a parked vehicle. He was arrested on a charge of DUI with property damage. He had been convicted in 2006 on a charge of reckless driving, reduced from an original charge of driving under the influence.
New Year’s Eve is right around the corner. It’s not too late to heed this important warning.
Obey the law. Choose a designated driver. Stay off the road. You can save a life, save your hard-earned retirement money, and you might even save your reputation.