A drunk driving suspect was nabbed on the Fourth of July on a worrisome stretch of Morse Boulevard in The Villages.
A Sumter County sheriff’s deputy was working traffic enforcement at about 5 p.m. Monday on Morse Boulevard north of County Road 466 due to “several citizen traffic complaints received by the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.”
The deputy caught on radar a white 2019 Dodge Ram pickup traveling north at 49 miles per hour in a 30 mph zone.
During a traffic stop at Morse Boulevard and De Silva Street, the driver was identified as 58-year-old Steven David Rega of Ocala. He had “slurred speech consistent with alcohol impairment,” the report said.
The Wayne, N.J. native was asked to participate in field sobriety exercises, but he claimed he had “health issues” including he was “unable to stand with his feet together due to his knees.” He almost fell over backward during the exercises he attempted to perform. The exercises were discontinued.
Rega refused to provide a breath sample. A criminal history check revealed several previous DUI arrests.
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 $1,500 bond.
Villagers have repeatedly voiced concerns about safety issues on Morse Boulevard north of County Road 466. Last week, there were two serious accidents, one in which a golf cart collided with a van and another in which a Villager was hospitalized after striking a pole.