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Pasco teacher arrested on DUI charge

Published Aug. 10, 2013

ZEPHYRHILLS — A Pasco County teacher was arrested and charged with driving under the influence Thursday afternoon after Pasco sheriff's deputies found his car in a ditch.

Rajesh Mahbubani, 49, teaches at James Irvin Education Center in Dade City.

At 2 p.m. Thursday, he was in the back seat of a deputy's car, talking with a Florida Highway Patrol trooper. According to reports, Mahbubani smelled of alcohol, and when he tried to get out of the car to talk with the trooper, he fell over. He couldn't walk without help. His car was in a ditch on the south side of State Road 54, just west of Foster Lane.

Mahbubani agreed to perform sobriety tests there, but he couldn't stand by himself to try to walk in a straight line. He couldn't stand on one leg either, according to reports.

Mahbubani had a prescription bottle of Temazepam, which is used to treat insomnia, in his front left pocket. A trooper also found a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey on the front driver's side seat of Mahbubani's car. It was two-thirds full.

Just before 3 p.m., Mahbubani said he had chest pains and extreme pain in his right leg, and he was taken by ambulance to Florida Hospital Zephyrhills. A test showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.183, according to Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Steve Gaskins. Florida law presumes a driver impaired at 0.08.

He was booked into the Land O'Lakes jail Thursday night and released a few hours later on his own recognizance.

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