Friday, May 25, 2018
Public safety

Driver faces DUI charges for September crash in Port Richey

PORT RICHEY

Driver faces DUI charges for crash

A Port Richey man was arrested this week after authorities determined he had marijuana and alcohol in his system when he caused a Sept. 30 crash that seriously injured his passenger.

Michael P. Lanuto, 20, was charged Tuesday with DUI causing serious bodily injury, DUI causing property damage, DUI and driving with a suspended license. Authorities say he was driving at about 3 a.m. on Sept. 30 when he crashed near Leo Kidd Avenue and Pine Hill Road.

A Port Richey Police report said Lanuto's passenger, Joseph Rivera, was flown to Bayfront Medical Center with serious injuries. Lanuto's blood alcohol level was 0.07, police said, which is lower than the level at which the state presumes impairment. But police said blood analysis showed Lanuto also had marijuana in his system. Such test results are often not available until months after the crash.

Lanuto denied being the driver of the vehicle, but police said his blood was a match to blood found on the driver's side airbag in the crashed car.

Lanuto, of 7638 Vienna Lane, was booked at the Land O'Lakes jail. He was released Wednesday on $5,500 bail.

Times staff

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