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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Man charged with DUI after refusing breathalyzer test in Leesburg

Juan Anthony Acosta
Juan Anthony Acosta

A Hillsborough County man was charged with DUI after he refused to take a breathalyzer test when stopped for speeding in Leesburg.

Shortly after 3 a.m. Friday, a Leesburg police officer observed a vehicle traveling west on U.S. Highway 441 near County Road 44 at around 60 mph in a 45-mph zone. The officer used a radar gun to record the speed at 62 mph and made a U-turn to initiate a traffic stop, according to the police report.

The officer accelerated to catch up to the vehicle, which started drifting between lanes and at one point was traveling halfway in the oncoming lane. The officer turned on his emergency lights, but the vehicle continued without stopping. After the officer activated the siren, the vehicle finally stopped on U.S. Highway 441 near Sleepy Hollow Road, the report said.

The driver was identified as 30-year-old Juan Anthony Acosta, of Wimauma. While speaking with Acosta, the officer detected the strong odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle, which grew stronger as Acosta spoke, according to the report.

After Acosta failed a series of field sobriety exercises, the officer checked his driving record and found a DUI conviction in 2018 and multiple active suspensions and convictions for driving with a suspended license. Acosta refused to submit to a breath test and was placed under arrest. In addition to DUI, he was charged with driving with a suspended license (habitual offender), the report said.

Acosta was booked at the Leesburg police station and taken to the Lake County Jail, where he was released Friday afternoon on $12,000 bond. Acosta is scheduled to appear in Lake County Court on Oct. 31.

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