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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Ohio man suspected of DUI almost collides with officer after leaving McDonalds

An Ohio man was arrested for suspected drunk driving after almost colliding head on with a police officer after leaving a McDonalds restaurant in Leesburg.

Dirk Elliot Horwedel
Dirk Elliot Horwedel

An officer observed the driver of a green Jeep, later identified as 54-year-old Dirk Elliot Horwedel, come from the McDonalds’ entrance into his turn lanes head on toward the officer on U.S. Hwy. 441 around 6:30 a.m. Thursday, according to an arrest report from the Leesburg Police Department. 

The officer initiated a traffic stop by activating his emergency lights and blocked the Jeep from moving further down the lane into more traffic. He then approached Horwedel, who appeared to have his mouth full of food, and had difficulty understanding what he said. He identified his tag state as out of Ohio, the report said. 

The officer asked for Horwedel’s license, but he was able to provide it, claiming it was left in his hotel room in Tavares. He instead provided his name and date of birth. Dispatch was eventually able to locate his Ohio license despite him not being able to clearly articulate answers, the report said. 

Another officer was asked to assist with a DUI investigation, and a detective and an officer arrived shortly after. Horwedel was walked to the parking lot of 10332 U.S. Hwy. 441 next to McDonalds while his vehicle and the patrol vehicle were removed from the roadway, the report said. 

The DUI investigation then began with the officer having Horwedel stand on the parking lot line to explain the directions for the exercises. He was unsteady and used his arms for balance along with being unable to follow instructions. As a result, the officer concluded that he was driving under the influence and took him to LPD for processing. He later submitted breath samples of 0.186g/210L and 0.182g/210L, the report said. 

Horwedel was charged with DUI and transported to Lake County Jail. He was released after posting $1,000 bond.

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