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Overturned car results in DUI charge

In a second case, a motorist is accused of DUI and not having a valid driver's license.

By SUZANNAH GONZALES
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 22, 2002


A Homosassa man was charged with driving under the influence Friday night, after police found the white car he drove lying on its roof on County Road 491 in Homosassa, according to an arrest report.

At about 9 p.m., Gene A. Watkins, 61, of 10391 W Fishbowl Drive, left 123 feet of tire marks, went off the east side of the road and left 46 feet more of skid marks before turning over, the report said.

When an official arrived on the scene, Watkins was still in the car.

"I'm not guilty, I just drove my car into the berm and flipped it," Watkins told a Florida Highway Patrol trooper, according to the report.

But his breath smelled of alcohol, his eyes were bloodshot and watery and his speech was thick and slurred, the report showed.

After taking sobriety tests, Watkins was arrested. He remained at the Citrus County jail Saturday morning in lieu of a $500 bond.

The patrol also arrested 38-year-old Yvonne Hurley early Saturday on a charge of driving under the influence. In addition, she was charged with not having a valid driver's license. She also remained at the jail Saturday morning, held on $750 bond.

A trooper saw Hurley, of 15 Donna St., Beverly Hills, driving a blue Chevrolet Corsica north on CR 491 in Lecanto in an erratic manner at about 40 mph, an arrest report said. The brake lights blinked on and off every few seconds and the car swerved in its lane, crossed the center line, returned to the lane and drove off the road onto the shoulder, the report showed. At one point, Hurley traveled completely into the southbound lane, still driving north.

After the trooper turned on his emergency lights, Hurley stopped in the center of the road, just south of Starlight Ave., the report said. The trooper then told her to pull onto the shoulder. Hurley put the car in reverse, almost hitting the trooper's foot and the front of his car.

When the trooper asked Hurley to stop, Hurley drove off the road, stopping on the shoulder. The trooper then removed the keys from the ignition.

Hurley told the trooper she was trying to learn how to drive and never had a driver's license, the report said.

Like Watkins, Hurley's breath smelled of alcohol, her eyes were bloodshot and speech was slurred, the report said. She was also asked to perform sobriety tests.

-Suzannah Gonzales can be reached at sgonzales@sptimes.com or 860-7300.

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