Crime

‘What do you want from me?’ Florida man charged with DUI on a golf cart full of Fireball

A Florida man got behind the wheel of a golf cart last week after consuming alcohol.

A lot of alcohol.

According to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, a call came in around 7:30 p.m. on March 28 about a person who was believed to be under the influence sitting in his cart in the middle of the road in The Villages development in Lady Lake.

A deputy arrived on the scene and made contact with the defendant, who was behind the wheel of a black Club Car. According to the police report, the driver, later identified as Dean J. Hooks, “seemed groggy and his eyes were watery and bloodshot.”

A witness who had reported the incident was still on the scene. She told the officer that she had observed Hooks sitting in his vehicle at a red light “nodding off,” so she approached him on foot to make sure he was OK. The key was in the ignition; the defendant’s foot, on the brake. After assessing the situation (smelling alcohol, seeing his glassy eyes and hearing his slurred speech), the concerned citizen called authorities.

Hooks had a difficult time answering simple questions (such as his name) and became “very defensive” when asked other basic questions such as his address and date of birth, said the report.

The deputy wrote that he smelled a very strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from Hooks’ breath and person.

Before the deputy began his DUI investigation and to administer standardized field sobriety exercises, a medic medically cleared the 45-year-old suspect. Hooks reported that he had no injuries or balance problems that would prevent him from safely completing any exercises but could not maintain his balance during the instruction phase, said the arrest affidavit. He “stopped several times to steady himself, failed to touch heel-to-toe on almost every step, stepped off the line several times, used his arms for balance, and took an incorrect number of steps.”

When asked if he understood the instructions, Hooks responded, “What do you want from me?”

Hooks was found to have a breath alcohol level of .285, reportedly more than three times the legal limit.

Before placing Hooks under arrest, the deputy searched his cart and found a 1.75 liter open bottle of Fireball cinnamon whiskey and a four-pack of 50 milliliter bottles of Fireball on the passenger seat.

The report said Hooks refused to sign the DUI citation, so he got slapped with another charge — resisting an officer.

He was booked into the Sumter County Detention Center on charges of driving under the influence and resisting an officer and released on $2,500 bond.

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