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The Villages
Thursday, May 26, 2022

Villager arrested on DUI charge after Mercedes hits parked car at Publix

Bruce Pailet
Bruce Pailet

A Villager was arrested on a drunk driving charge after his Mercedes hit a parked car at Publix.

Officers were called at 9:30 a.m. to the Publix at Trailwinds Village on County Road 466A to investigate an accident involving a 2013 Mercedes owned by 63-year-old Bruce Pailet of the Village of Dunedin, according to an arrest report from the Wildwood Police Department. The New York native admitted he struck the other vehicle while pulling into a parking spot at the grocery store, but dismissed the damage as “minimal.”

A police officer noticed that Pailet’s groceries included a bottle of gin. Pailet said he purchased the gin “to take to his parents later in the day,” the report said. Pailet had bloodshot eyes and was thick-tongued.

He struggled through field sobriety exercises. Pailet was transported to the UF Health-The Villages Hospital freestanding ER at Brownwood for a medical evaluation. While there, a blood sample was taken and sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for testing.

Pailet was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence and booked at the Sumter County Detention Center on $1,000 bond.

Pailet had been arrested in April 2019 after a report of a reckless driver in the vicinity of Buena Vista Boulevard and State Road 44. He had been on a Taco Bell run in his Mercedes when he was arrested with a blood alcohol level that registered .202 and .212.

Previously, Pailet been sentenced to six months probation in connection with a 2015 hit-and-run accident in which he was initially charged with drunk driving. The then-Village of Fernandina resident entered a plea of no contest to reduced charges of leaving the scene of an accident and reckless driving. Pailet had been arrested in the parking lot of the Publix liquor store at Colony Plaza shopping center.

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