Police in Brooksville arrested a man for drunk driving – inside a Walmart.
The intoxicated driver was behind the wheel of a motorized shopping cart when apprehended February 3. It appears no one was injured, although the boozing shopper caused property damage by banging his buggy through the store aisles and knocking merchandise off shelves.
The incident was played for humor by some media outlets. But the problem of driving while under the influence (DUI) is anything but a laughing matter.
More than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2010, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In Florida, there were 794 alcohol-related fatalities that same year.
According to WFLA News 8, Brooksville’s Timothy Carr faces charges of felony retail theft and disorderly intoxication.
The police state that they found Carr inside the Walmart located on Broadway Street just before 9:00 p.m. on Sunday night. Carr had removed an alcoholic beverage from a shelf, was drinking it, and was knocking other items off the shelves.
The police also recount that Carr, who is a transient, had no money to pay for the alcohol he was consuming. He has two previous arrests for retail theft, making the current arrest a felony.
As in all other states, it is deemed illegal to operate a motor vehicle in Florida with a blood alcohol concentration that exceeds the legal limit of .08 percent—including motorized shopping carts.
A person convicted of DUI may face driver’s license suspension, hefty fines, community service, DUI school attendance, probation, installation of ignition interlock devices and possible jail time.