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Leesburg DUI suspect arrested after vehicle drifts into bicycle lane

A Leesburg man was arrested for drunk driving after drifting into the bicycle lane and admitted to drinking beer beforehand during a traffic stop. 

Mauricio Bautista Serrato
Mauricio Bautista Serrato

A deputy responded to the area of County Road 462 and Inspiration Drive regarding a request for assistance with a traffic stop involving 21-year-old Mauricio Bautista Serrato around 10 p.m. Wednesday, according to an arrest report from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

Upon arrival, the deputy met with a sergeant who had Serrato out of the vehicle and was conducting a pat down. As Serrato stood next to the vehicle, the deputy noticed he seemed unsteady on his feet as he fell into the sergeant who was standing next to him. The deputy then learned that the sergeant stopped Serrato because he failed to maintain a single lane and drove into a bicycle lane, the report said.  

The sergeant later stated that he was following behind Serrato’s vehicle on U.S. 301 when he noted the vehicle drifting from side to side in its lane. When it turned onto County Road 462, the vehicle took an unusually wide turn and continued to drift back and forth in its lane before going into the bicycle lane. It continued to drive in the bicycle lane, so the sergeant conducted a traffic stop to perform a well-being check on Serrato, the report said. 

When the sergeant activated his emergency lights to do so, the vehicle did not immediately pull over but rather continued to slow roll for about a quarter mile before stopping in the roadway, the report said. 

The sergeant approached Serrato and noticed his eyes were glassy with droopy eyelids. While speaking with Serrato, he would look at the sergeant with a blank stare. He admitted to consuming several beers a couple hours prior to the traffic stop, the report said. 

The deputy then spoke with Serrato. He also noticed the droopy eyelids as well as somewhat bloodshot and glossy eyes. From speaking with Serrato in close proximity, the deputy noticed an obvious smell of an alcoholic beverage on his breath, the report said. 

Based on the driving pattern and indicators of impairment, Serrato was asked to participate in field sobriety exercises that he agreed to perform. He walked to a nearby parking lot as instructed, during which the deputy noticed he would walk with a sway and appeared to be unsteady on his feet, the report said. 

During the exercises, Serrato swayed, stopped to steady himself, used his arm for balance and did not follow instructions. This led the deputy to conclude he was driving under the influence. Breathe tests taken later confirmed this with results of 0.184g/210L and 0.173g/210L, the report said. 

Serrato was subsequently arrested and charged with DUI. The native of Mexico was transported to the Sumter County Detention Center with bond set at $1,000 and was released. 

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