Florida is the global capital of odd crime. While the rest of the world’s rulebreakers seem happy to stick to petty theft and run-of-the-mill misdemeanours, Florida’s criminals are a cut above. Not for them, the mediocrity of a public disturbance or ASBO. If Floridians are going to step out of line, they’re going to do it in style. Case in point, this unusual and unintentionally hilarious incident hailing from just west of Orlando.
Last Thursday, deputies from Sumter County Sheriff's Office revealed that they had arrested a man for driving a golf cart around a local housing development, whilst intoxicated to the point of being around three-times over the legal limit. Police were alerted to the situation at around 7:45 in the evening, after a resident spotted the perpetrator dozing off as he waited at a red light. The situation only went downhill from there.
According to local news outlet WFTV-9, the buggy driver was identified as 45-year-old Florida native Dean Hooks, a man who had only been previously known to police from one prior DUI conviction in 2000. This seemed like quite a dramatic way to make your first tentative steps into criminality. As they chatted to the confused Hooks, officers noticed an open 1.75 litre bottle of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, with a further four miniatures scattered on the backseat of the vehicle. They were justifiably a little suspicious, and asked Hooks to leave the buggy.
WFTV-9 report that Hooks was not the most cooperating of suspects. Officers allege that “Hooks seemed groggy, his eyes were watery and bloodshot, he smelled of alcohol and he had difficulty answering simple questions, including when he was asked for his name.” According to the news agency, “(authorities) said he became very defensive when he was asked for his address and his date of birth,” adding that, “Hooks told them he does not normally wear glasses, but he had a pair of glasses hanging from his shirt.”
Feeling understandably dubious of Hooks’ protestations of innocence, and alarmed by the alcohol-soaked state of the backseat, officers decided to subject the disorientated driver to a breathalyzer. The results, unsurprisingly, were not good. According to investigators, Hooks provided two samples, registering alcohol concentrations of 0.285 g/210L and 0.292 g/210L, respectively. For reference, the legal limit in Florida is 0.08 g/210L. Needless to say, officers were not best pleased with the result. Hooks was therefore booked into the Sumter County Detention Center and charged with both driving under the influence and resisting an officer.
Finding someone absolutely trollied in the middle of the road at the wheel of a golf cart might seem like a one in a million occurrence, but stories like this happen more often than you might expect. Earlier this year, for instance, a woman was asked to leave a Walmart carpark when she was spotted driving around on an electric scooter, swigging wine from a Pringles can. Both of these tales prove that you don’t have to look as far as you might think to find someone doing something daft on an unconventional form of transport. When you add alcohol into the equation, absolutely anything can happen.