Beer-chugging Micanopy man jailed on DUI charge

McKinley Laurence Whitmire

A Micanopy man chugged the last of a can of beer and threw it out the window right before being arrested on a drunk-driving charge last week.

McKinley Laurence Whitmire, 37, of 16515 SE C.R. 225, was charged Thursday with driving under the influence of alcohol. Marion County sheriff’s deputies were alerted to Whitmire’s condition by his ex-girlfriend, who was following him and called 911 to report him.

The woman told the deputy that Whitmire pulled into the Orange Lake Sunoco gas station, located at 1971 N. U.S. Hwy. 441. The deputy arrived to find Whitmire’s black GMC truck parked sideways in the parking lot with his ex-girlfriend’s car behind it. Whitmire was approaching his truck with what appeared to be a case of Bud Light beer, according to the sheriff’s office report.

The deputy activated his emergency lights and beeped the siren to alert Whitmire of his presence. Whitmire shook his finger at the deputy and drove out of the parking lot. The deputy followed Whitefield a short distance at a slow speed southbound on Highway 441 before Whitmire turned back northbound and finally stopped. The deputy observed Whitmire drinking a can of Bud Light beer very fast and then throwing out the window upon stopping, the report said.

Whitefield’s ex-girlfriend said he had been drinking nonstop since the previous day and she couldn’t stop him from driving. The deputy smelled a strong odor of alcohol on Whitmire’s breath. Whitmire failed a series of field sobriety exercises, according to the report.

As he was being arrested, Whitmire told the deputy, “I just chugged that beer as you were pulling me over.” He was taken to the Marion County Jail, where he refused a breathalyzer test. He was released Saturday on $2,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Marion County Court on Dec. 27.