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Leon GOP chair Evan Power charged with DUI

Leon County Republican Party Chair and lobbyist Evan J. Power was arrested Wednesday and charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence with property damage, according to a Tallahassee Police Department report.

Power, who refused to take a breath test, was later released from the Leon County Jail on a $500 bond.

In a text message, the 37-year-old Power told Florida Politics he was “tired and a distracted driver and made a mistake. I will be using the court system to set the record straight.”

Power crashed his 2015 Infiniti into another parked vehicle on Eighth Avenue near Cherry Street in midtown Tallahassee, the report said. The wreck was witnessed and called in by an off-duty officer walking his dog.

The responding officer “noted a strong odor of alcohol coming from (Power’s) breath and person, his eyes were glassy, watery and bloodshot … and his speech slurred,” the report said.

Power, who told police he had had “two beers,” said “he would rather not (perform field sobriety tests) but would if he had too.”

Partway through the tests, after he showed a “side to side sway” and “had to be reminded multiple times to keep his head still,” he said “he did not wish to continue the exercises” and was “placed under arrest for DUI,” the report said.

Upon arrival at the jail, he “refused to submit to (a) breath test,” it added, and his driver’s license was suspended for one year under state law.

An arraignment has been set for Feb. 7 before Leon County Judge Ron Flury, court dockets show.

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Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jim Rosica, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Dan McAuliffe, Michael Moline, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
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