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Ocala

Fort McCoy man facing DUI charges after popped riding lawn mower on Hwy. 316

A Fort McCoy man with a history of drunk driving convictions found himself behind bars recently after he was caught driving a lawn mower on Hwy. 316.

Paul John Burke, 48, of Fort McCoy, speaks to a Marion County sheriff’s deputy on Aug. 5 after he was stopped on Hwy. 316 on a riding lawn mower.

Paul John Burke’s jail booking photo

A Marion County sheriff’s deputy made a traffic stop on Aug. 5 after he spotted 48-year-old Paul John Burke driving down the middle of the highway on his lawn mower. The deputy reported that Burke’s speech was slurred and he could smell alcohol on his breath, a sheriff’s office report states.

Burke attempted to participate in field sobriety exercises but said he couldn’t complete them “because he had been drinking too much.” He was placed under arrest and transported to the Marion County Jail, where he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, refusing to submit to a DUI test after license suspension and driving while license suspended (third of subsequent offense). He was released Aug. 7 on $11,000 bond and is due in court Sept. 8 at 9 a.m. to answer to the charges.

Deputies ran a criminal background check on Burke and discovered that his license had been revoked four times and suspended three times on charges of DUI And refusing to submit a breath sample, the report says.

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