Thursday, April 26, 2018

Pasco School Board candidate arrested for DUI

Mike Aday, a pre-filed candidate for Pasco County School Board District 5, was arrested for driving under the influence early Saturday morning in Tarpon Springs.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Aday, a social studies teacher at Hudson Middle School, was stopped just before 2 a.m. Dec. 30 after troopers saw him accelerating his car to 85 mph in a 50 mph zone, and weaving across lanes while driving on US 19 at Tarpon Avenue.

The trooper wrote that he observed Aday to have strong alcoholic smell on his breath, unsteady balance and glassy, bloodshot eyes. About two hours after being stopped, Aday gave a breath sample, which was reported at 0.149/0.144 — just less than double the legal limit.

"He admitted to one drink," the report stated, "however, inside of his pants pocket a receipt was found from a local bar charging 19 drinks, totalling $112."

The FHP report indicated he had no prior convictions.

Aday, who was booked into the Pinellas County jail and later bonded out,  said he had made a poor decision, "but based on best intentions." He explained that he had been drinking with friends, and the receipt in his pocket was the bill for all four people, not him alone.

He continued that his friends were becoming unruly while out, and he was trying to get them home.

"I acted poorly, had a lapse in judgment, while trying to protect my friends," Aday said, stressing that he was not trying to condone driving under the influence.

Still, he said he hopes this incident will not overshadow his past work or his goal of continued contribution to improving Pasco County schools.

Aday is one of two candidates to announce plans to seek the board seat currently held by incumbent Steve Luikart, who has not revealed whether he will pursue a third term. The election is scheduled for Aug. 28.

[This post has been updated to include comments from Michael Aday, who was not initially available.]

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