A Belleview Police officer and Marion County sheriff’s deputy teamed up to arrest a Dunnellon man on a DUI charge in an Ocala Wal-Mart parking lot.
Shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday, the Belleview officer was traveling eastbound in the 2800 block of East Highway 40 and saw a white Ford van also traveling east unable to maintain its lane. The officer advised she was unable to initiate a traffic stop due to being in plain clothes after in-service training, according to the sheriff’s office report.
The officer followed the van while waiting for assistance from the sheriff’s office. The van pulled into the Wal-Mart at 4980 E. Silver Springs Blvd. with the officer following, and the sheriff’s deputy arrived to conduct the DUI investigation, the report said.
The driver of the vehicle was Francis Charles Coven, 58, of 2307 SW 189th Ave. in Dunnellon. Coven, who was standing outside the vehicle when the deputy arrived, was uncooperative and refused to identify himself. He was unable to maintain his balance while walking around his vehicle and his speech was slurred. Coven refused to perform field sobriety exercises, according to the report.
The deputy observed car camera video from the officer’s patrol vehicle, which showed Covens vehicle weaving in and out of its lane numerous times on Highway 40 until braking erratically and pulling into the Wal-Mart parking lot, the report said.
Coven was placed under arrest. A vehicle inventory search prior to towing turned up a cold half-full Four Loko malt beverage directly behind the driver’s seat and a cold half-full Corona beer next to the driver’s seat on the floorboard. The deputy detected the strong odor of alcohol on Coven’s breath while taking him to the Marion County Jail, according to the report.
Once at the jail, Coven refused to submit to a breath test and answer any questions. He was released Wednesday on his own recognizance and will appear in Marion County Court on Nov. 17.