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Hillsborough sheriff's deputy accused of DUI

TAMPA — A Hillsborough County sheriff's deputy, who also is a former St. Petersburg police officer, was accused late Sunday of driving under the influence and getting in a wreck.

Timothy Joseph Opat, 33, was headed north on S West Shore Boulevard near W Flamingo Road in a 2004 Ford Explorer when he rear-ended a car, according to an arrest report.

Opat was arrested by Tampa police about 10 p.m. and was charged with driving under the influence with property damage.

He refused a Breathalyzer test, records show. An officer said Opat smelled strongly of alcohol and during field sobriety tests showed signs of impairment, including bloodshot, glassy eyes and an inability to follow simple directions.

He posted $500 bail and was released from jail about 6 a.m.

Opat, who works in western Hillsborough, has been with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office since August 2008. He was placed on administrative leave without pay, said Debbie Carter, a sheriff's spokeswoman.

Opat joined the St. Petersburg Police Department in July 2002 and resigned in August 2007, said Mike Puetz, a police spokesman.

Hillsborough sheriff's deputy accused of DUI 04/04/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 12:44am]
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