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MAN ARRESTED FOR OPERATING WATERCRAFT UNDER THE INFLUENCE AT BIG LAGOON STATE PARK

 

A Pensacola man is behind bars after an arrest report says he was operating a personal watercraft (PWC) erratically and allegedly under the influence. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) the incident occurred on Saturday at the Big Lagoon State Park in Escambia County. The report says two FWC Officers were patrolling in the idle speed zone at the park when they observed 46-year-old Brad McGehee operating a PWC erratically, displaying a “large rooster tail” of water and casting a sizeable wake in a no-wake zone, idle speed zone. When the officers approached McGehee within their patrol vessel the report states, they immediately detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath. The officers stated in the report, McGehee’s speech was slurred throughout their conversation and he was belligerent towards them for stopping him. McGehee agreed to allow the FWC Officers check his eyes to see if he was ok to operate the watercraft, says the report. When the FWC checked his eyes the report says, they detected all clues of horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) which is the involuntary jerking of one’s eye when it gazes to the side. McGehee was given the test twice and FWC says in the report, they observed six signs of impairment. The report states McGehee was unable to successfully perform three B.U.I. tasks, unable to follow instructions and was argumentative during the entire encounter. McGehee refused to take a breath test and was later arrested for operating a vessel while faculties impaired, says the report.

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