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State agency official jailed on DUI charge

(ran PC edition)

The nursing director for a state program for seniors was arrested on a drunken driving charge after he almost ran a state trooper off Interstate 75, authorities said.

Charles M. Conditt Jr., 56, of 4244 Robinhood Road, Tallahassee, remained in the Land O'Lakes jail Friday in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Conditt is the nursing services director for the Comprehensive Assessment and Review for Long-Term Care Services, a program within the state Department of Elder Affairs, said department spokeswoman Martha Pratt.

Conditt transferred to the Department of Elder Affairs in 1995 from the formerly titled Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services _ now known as Department of Children and Families _ where he started in 1986.

The department learned of Conditt's arrest Friday morning, Pratt said.

"The department will be looking into the situation and taking appropriate action," she added.

Shortly before midnight Thursday, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper saw Conditt swerving in and out of the southbound lanes of I-75 just south of State Road 52, according to a patrol report.

Conditt's white Toyota left the road twice and almost collided with a trooper's vehicle trying to pull him over, the report said.

Once stopped, Conditt failed a field sobriety test and later refused to take a blood alcohol test, the report said.

Conditt smelled of alcohol, showed poor balance and bloodshot eyes and fell off a chair at the jail, the report said.

His state driving record reveals a previous conviction for DUI in October 1989. His driver's license was revoked for 180 days at the time and was restored in April 1990. His record shows he also was cited for speeding four times between 1989 and 2003, though adjudication was withheld in every case.

_ Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report.