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Deputies: BMW driver crashes into Waffle House, faces DUI charge

SEMINOLE — Early morning repast at a Waffle House was interrupted early Thursday morning when deputies said a BMW crashed into the restaurant.

No one was injured, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. But the 45-year-old driver was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence involving property damage.

The incident took place at the Waffle House at 7670 Starkey Road at about 1:12 a.m.

A white 2003 BMW 325I was driving south through the parking lot when witnesses said the sedan ended up striking the north side of the building.

The crash caused "significant" damage to the Waffle House, deputies said.

Patrons and staff were evacuated and no injuries were reported.

When deputies spoke to the driver, Isaias Garcia of Seminole, the Sheriff's Office said he appeared to show "signs of impairment by having bloodshot, glassy, and watery eyes and a distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath when he spoke."

Garcia refused to perform field sobriety tests, deputies said. However, he did submit to a Breathalyzer exam. That revealed his blood-alcohol level to be 0.165 and 0.158, deputies said.

Florida law presumes a driver to be impaired with a BAC of 0.08 or greater.

Garcia was arrested and booked into the Pinellas County jail just after 3 a.m. Thursday. He was freed later that day after posting $500 bail.

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