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Speeding driver arrested on DUI charge after admitting to sipping seltzer at bar

A Eustis man was arrested for suspected drunk driving when he was stopped for speeding after leaving Froggers in Apopka.

David Michael Smith
David Michael Smith

An officer observed the driver of a silver vehicle, later identified as 41-year-old David Michael Smith, speeding southbound in the 2000 block of U.S. Hwy. 441 around 11:46 p.m. Saturday, according to an arrest report from the Leesburg Police Department. 

The vehicle changed lanes from the far-left lane to the far-right lane without using a turn signal. It continued and changed back without using a turn signal again. It then drove off the roadway by crossing a solid white line and striking the center-raised median of the highway, the report said. 

The officer paced the vehicle going 65 miles per hour in a 50-mph zone. He proceeded to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle, and another officer arrived on scene shortly after. This officer approached the passenger side window and talked to the driver, Smith, the report said. 

As the officer spoke with Smith, he noticed that his speech was slurred, and his eyes were glossy. Smith began defending a driving pattern that the officer did not ask about. He stated that he made a U-turn and hit a curb because he was texting his ex-girlfriend and almost went to her old residence instead of where she lives now, the report said. 

Smith further advised that he had been drinking at Froggers in Apopka, located at 1601 Rock Springs Road, with his friends about one hour before the stop. As he continued, the officer could smell the distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath, the report said. 

The officer asked Smith if he was willing to participate in field sobriety exercises, and he agreed. He struggled to find his balance as he got out of his vehicle. He was informed that his shoe was untied, and he leaned on his vehicle for stability as he tied his shoes, the report said. 

Smith began to say that he had already told officers that he drank two seltzers and questioned why he had to do the exercises. The officer explained that the exercises were voluntary and asked if he wanted to take part. They both still walked to a better-lit portion of the parking lot, the report said. 

Smith’s poor performance, which included unsteady coordination and crying, led the officer to conclude that he was under the influence. Additionally, one of the officers found an open can of Truly Seltzer in the center console cupholder and an unopened bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne on the front passenger floorboard, the report said. 

The officers arrested Smith and took him to adult booking at LPD. He was read implied consent and asked to submit to a breath test but refused. He was informed of the consequences of refusing the breath test and still declined, the report said. 

A criminal history check revealed that Smith had one prior refusal to submit to a breath test on June 18, 2006, out of Louisiana, the report said. 

Smith was ultimately charged with DUI (alcohol or drugs first/second offense) and DUI (refusal to submit to DUI breath test). He was transported to Lake County Jail and released after posting $2,000 bond.

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