A drunken Florida driver smashed into a detective’s cruiser and then into a sheriff’s patrol car emblazoned with “Don’t Drink and Drive” on the back, authorities said.
Paul Wilkins, 63, plowed through traffic control cones and slammed into the detective’s vehicle, which then careened 30 feet into a Citrus County Sheriff’s car used to warn against driving while intoxicated, according to a department statement.
He was wearing a T-shirt that read "I'm Currently Unsupervised." He told deputies he had consumed about five beers without eating anything, according to his arrest affidavit.
Deputies were providing crowd control at a festival in Crystal River over the weekend. The sheriff’s department had just unveiled its unusual anti-DUI vehicle, which is painted to look like a taxi in the rear and a regular cruiser in the front.
It was sitting in a median with its blue-and-red lights flashing when Wilkins crashed into it, the department said.
“I actually had a friend of mine come up and say ‘Somebody just hit your car,’’’ Deputy Nancy Suto told Bay News 9.
She said she asked Wilkins if he’d been drinking, and driver said he had. “When I asked him much (after) he told me he didn’t see the lights, he said ‘Quite a bit,’’’ the deputy told the station.
He ended up getting a ride to jail in the new cruiser, Suto said.
The vehicle's odd design is meant to encourage people to call a cab if they've been drinking to avoid a trip to jail in a patrol car.
Wilkins was charged with DUI and operating a vehicle in a careless or negligent banner. He was released on $1,000 bail. It was not clear whether he had entered a plea.