Dunnellon man charged with DUI and violating his probation

Michael A. Spano

A Dunnellon man on probation for heroin possession was charged with DUI after being pulled over in Ocala early Sunday.

Michael Anthony Spano, 32, of 11286 SW 105th Ave., was also charged with violating his probation’s condition of not using alcohol or illicit drugs. He was previously arrested in January 2018 on charges of possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia.

Shortly after midnight, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper was traveling west on State Road 200 approaching SW 66th Street when he observed Spano’s Volkswagen Tiguan was slow to react when the traffic signal changed from red to green.  The trooper began to observe the vehicle’s driving pattern and noted that Spano appeared to have difficulty maintaining a steady speed, drifted from the right to left divider line and back, and exceeded the posted speed limit of 50 mph, according to the FHP report.

The trooper conducted a traffic stop on State Road 200, just east of SW 80th Street, and immediately observed a strong odor of alcohol coming from inside the vehicle. Spano’s eyes were bloodshot and glossy, his pupils were dilated, and his face was flushed. His speech was slurred and his movements were lethargic, the report said.

Spano was unsteady as he walked to the patrol car. He told the trooper he had five Coors Light beers and his last beer was about 30 minutes earlier. Spano repeatedly asked the trooper to call his mom for a ride, and the trooper explained that was not an option, according to the report.

Spano failed a series of field sobriety exercises and was arrested. He was taken to the Marion County Jail, where he refused to provide a breath sample for testing. Spano is being held on $2,000 bond, and he’ll appear in Marion County Court on Sept. 10 for the DUI charge and Sept. 19 for the probation violation.