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Woman, 55, charged with DUI after crash in front of funeral home

Tony Holt Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 06:05 PM

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SPRING HILL A 55-year-old woman was arrested Monday on a charge of DUI with damage following an accident in front of a funeral home.

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office responded shortly after 2:40 p.m. to 280 Mariner Blvd.

Deputies said Vicki H. Vitale, 55, drove a white Buick south along Mariner when she made a U-turn in front Brewer and Sons Funeral Home.

Vitale made a wide turn, pulled into the driveway of the business and continued north along the shoulder before striking another vehicle that also was heading north, according to an arrest report.

Vitale showed several signs of intoxication from the moment deputies arrived to the time she was taken to jail, authorities said.

She smelled like she had been drinking, her eyes were bloodshot, her speech was slurred and she was unsteady on her feet, according to the sheriff's office.

"She swayed several inches in each direction while standing," wrote Deputy William Cooper in his report.

Vitale said she had consumed one large can of Steel Reserve beer about two hours before the accident and also told deputies she took some medicine the previous evening, according to the sheriff's office.

She failed her field-sobriety test and was transported to the Hernando County Jail. Deputies said she kept falling asleep en route to the jail.

While awaiting her breathalyzer test, Vitale fell to the ground while leaning against the wall, according to an arrest report.

Her blood-alcohol level was at .161, deputies said.

In Florida, a BAL of .08 or higher results in a DUI arrest.

Vitale was released Tuesday morning after posting $500 bail, according to jail records. (352) 544-5283

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