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Friday, June 11, 2021

Tampa man charged with DUI after Interstate 75 crash in Marion County

Christopher Payne Sellers

A 26-year-old Tampa man’s blood alcohol level was nearly four times the legal limit when he was involved in a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 75 last week.

Christopher Payne Sellers was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol with property damage after the Marion County crash, which happened shortly before midnight Aug. 25 near mile marker 350.

As a Florida Highway Patrol trooper walked up to the driver’s side of Sellers’ 2012 white Toyota Tacoma, he saw Sellers open the door and stumble out, nearly falling to the ground. The trooper immediately noticed a strong odor of alcohol on Sellers’ breath that got stronger when he spoke. His eyes were bloodshot and glossy, and his speech was slurred and lethargic, according to the FHP report.

The trooper also observed a crushed Budweiser beer can in the center console of the vehicle. When asked about the can, Sellers said he had been drinking it today. Sellers was taken to a nearby gas station, where he failed a series of field sobriety exercises, the report said.

Sellers was arrested and transported to the Marion County Jail, where he provided two breath samples that recorded breath-alcohol levels of .318 and .307. As of Monday, he was being held on $20,000 bond. Sellers is scheduled to appear in Marion County Court on Oct. 10.