SPRING HILL — A 24-year-old man ran over several mailboxes Sunday while driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.316, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. That’s nearly four times the level at which the law presumes a driver is impaired.
Residents in the Hibiscus Springs apartment complex contacted law enforcement on Sunday to report a Toyota Scion driving recklessly. The driver was identified as Collin James Daniel.
An FHP investigation found that the Toyota struck five large mailboxes — which contained 16 individual mailboxes — while traveling south down Swordfish Lane. The car also struck a street sign.
A witness saw Daniel as he was leaving the driver’s seat, the FHP said, and Daniel "immediately confronted him and pushed him with two open palms."
After that, Daniel tried to hide under a pickup truck — until he tried to jump a fence and run away. A Hernando County Sheriff’s Office helicopter later located him laying behind a building next to an air-conditioning unit.
The arresting trooper said he read Daniel his Miranda rights. The driver, according to the FHP, said he knew he had erred and didn’t need a lawyer.
"It’s my fault for driving impaired, which I did and I will admit it," he said, according to the FHP. Troopers said he admitted to hitting the mailboxes and leaving the scene because he was afraid.
He also told the trooper how the whole thing started: He had eight shots of rum while at Amnesia Pub. The trooper said Daniel’s "speech was thick and sometimes mumbled."
"His eyes were slightly bloodshot and watery. His pupils appeared to be dilated. His face appeared to be flushed. I had him sit on my front bumper due to him being unsteady on his feet," the FHP report said.
The trooper instructed Daniel to perform field sobriety tests, but said Daniel couldn’t perform them. He repeatedly told the trooper that he was drunk and "deserves this."
Daniel was arrested on charges of driving under the influence with an unlawful blood alcohol level, DUI with an unlawful blood alcohol level involving damage property and battery. He was freed Monday after posting $1,500 bail.