Saturday, April 21, 2018
Public safety

Van Dyke Church of Lutz worship director charged with DUI in Pasco

HUDSON — The worship director of one of Lutz's largest churches faces a drunken driving charge after Pasco sheriff's deputies said he was weaving across lanes and nearly hit a patrol car early Saturday.

Jeffrey Brian Calhoun, a 49-year-old executive staffer at Van Dyke Church, was charged with first-offense DUI after breath tests showed blood-alcohol levels of 0.116 and 0.119. The limit at which Florida law presumes impairment is 0.08.

A Pasco sheriff's deputy stopped Calhoun's 2004 Toyota Camry shortly after 3 a.m. at State Road 52 and Hays Road. A report said the car, which was traveling west, crossed the inside fog line twice and swerved over the line separating the middle and left lanes, nearly striking the left front fender of the marked patrol car. When the deputy turned on his lights, the car continued to roll about 20 mph for more than 1 mile, the report said.

When the driver got of the car, the deputy noticed the strong smell of alcohol on his breath and "bloodshot, glassy" eyes. According to the report, Calhoun admitted to drinking two Ybor Gold beers and a glass of wine in Ybor City before driving home. He performed poorly on roadside sobriety tests. Calhoun, of 11825 Faithful Way No. 110 in New Port Richey, was taken to the county jail in Land O'Lakes and released several hours later.

Calhoun said he wanted to consult an attorney before deciding whether to comment.

The Rev. Matthew Hartsfield, senior pastor of the United Methodist congregation, said Calhoun had been executive worship leader since 2008. A guitarist, he has been temporarily removed from leading worship services pending a review of the case.

"We are working through this with church leadership," Hartsfield said.

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