A Clearwater official was arrested last weekend after being accused of being drunk while driving a golf cart.
According to police, the man, who is the city’s community redevelopment agency director, drove the golf cart into outdoor tables at the Clear Sky Restaurant on Cleveland Street.
Authorities said the 38-year-old then grabbed a person by the neck who was filming the incident. The man then allegedly left the scene.
He was stopped a short distance later and eventually taken to the Pinellas County Jail but not booked.
Instead, he was entered into an Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion Program early Sunday, which allows adults arrested for low-level crimes to avoid jail by completing community service, counseling or drug treatment.
That would allow him to complete community service instead of jail.
However, the man has been placed on administrative leave. He has worked for the city since 2016.
A golf cart is considered a vehicle under Florida law, so driving one while drunk could result in DUI charges. In Florida, we are lucky to enjoy mild weather throughout the year, which enables many Floridians to take advantage of golfing in the winter months. A round of golf with friends can include a few alcoholic beverages along the way, which could lead to legal consequences.
While most golf courses are on private property, driving a golf cart while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can result in DUI charges. Because a golf cart is considered a vehicle under Florida law, this means that you can actually be arrested after a day on the golf course for operating the golf cart while under the influence. Even if you weren’t on the golf course, many Floridians tool around in golf carts as an alternate mode of transportation, and you can still be arrested for DUI on a golf cart if you were outside a golf course.