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Driver accused of killing Pinellas deputy had blood alcohol level nearly triple limit, deputies say

Deputies said Robert Allen Holzaepfel had a blood alcohol limit of .23 Wednesday when he crashed into Deputy Michael Magli, killing the deputy.
Roberty Allen Holzaepfel is seen in this undated Florida Department of Corrections photo from a previous conviction. He is charged in the death of a Pinellas County deputy that occurred Wednesday.
Roberty Allen Holzaepfel is seen in this undated Florida Department of Corrections photo from a previous conviction. He is charged in the death of a Pinellas County deputy that occurred Wednesday. [ Florida Department of Correction ]
Published Feb. 19
Updated Feb. 19

The man accused of drunkenly driving and causing the crash that killed a Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputy this week had a blood alcohol level nearly triple the legal limit at the time of the collision, deputies said Friday.

Deputies said Robert Allen Holzaepfel was drunk at the wheel of a pickup truck Wednesday when he slammed into 30-year-old Deputy Michael Magli on East Lake Road in north Pinellas County. Magli was out of his cruiser, trying to deploy tire-deflating stop sticks as other deputies pursued Holzaepfel.

Related: Pinellas sheriff’s deputy killed trying to stop drunken driver, sheriff says

Test results showed that Holzaepfel had a blood alcohol level of .23, deputies said. The limit at which Florida law presumes impairment is .08. According to the American Addiction Centers, for a man of Holzaepfel’s size — an arrest report lists him at 175 pounds — a .23 level would be roughly the result of having eight drinks in an hour, or more drinks spread over more time.

Holzaepfel also was arrested in 2014 in Manatee County on a DUI charge. In that case, his blood alcohol level was .250, according to arrest reports.

Deputies are also looking to speak with people whose vehicles were damaged in crashes around the same area and time, they said. Those would have occurred on East Lake Road north of Forelock Road and at the intersection of Keystone Road and Woodfield Boulevard between 4:15 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. Wednesday. They’re also seeking videos of any such crashes. People with information are asked to call (727) 582-6215 or email jsyersjr@pcsonet.com.