A Cop or Cab?

“A cop or a cab? You decide,” The cost of a DUI


After an impaired driver struck two parked Citrus County Sheriff’s Office vehicles at the intersection of US 19 and Citrus Ave. in Crystal River during Pirate Fest on May 20, he agreed to allow Dep. Soto to use his case to educate the public on what happens after a motorist is charged with driving under the influence (DUI).

One of the patrol vehicles hit by 63 year-old impaired driver Paul M. Wilkins was the recently unveiled “Don’t Drink and Drive” car, half of it painted to look like a taxi, and the other half painted to look like a patrol car. The intent of the paint job is to drive home the message to not drive a vehicle while impaired.

Thus far in Mr. Wilkins’ DUI ordeal, he spent the night in jail, as an overnight stay is required on all DUI arrests. He slept on a steel bed with no mattress before bonding out of jail the next morning. His bond was $500. Out of pocket, using a bondsman, he paid $50. Having no transportation, Mr. Wilkins walked most of the 10-plus miles from the Citrus County Detention Facility in Lecanto to his home in Crystal River before getting a ride.

In order to get his vehicle back, Mr.Wilkins paid $270, the cost for the initial towing, the storage of his vehicle and the towing of his vehicle to his home. Due to the age of his vehicle, Mr. Wilkins had discontinued collision insurance, so the repairs will be at his own expense. As Mr. Wilkins lost his only set of car keys on the night of the incident, the vehicle cannot be started, so the extent of the damages and cost of repairs is not known.
Mr. Wilkins does not know if, or how much, his insurance premiums will increase due to the crash. With no transportation, Mr. Wilkins has had to rely on friends for day-to-day travel and court appearances.

Mr. Wilkins has been assigned a public defender and will go to court in regard to his DUI case in July.

Upcoming Community Events
  1. Register for Citizens’ Academy classes

    August 3 @ 1:00 pm - October 26 @ 4:00 pm
  2. Shoes and Socks for Needy Children

    August 10 @ 8:00 am - September 11 @ 5:00 pm
  3. Town Hall Meeting, Aug. 17, Beverly Hills

    August 17 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
  4. Summer Music at the Museum Concert Series

    August 17 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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    August 19 @ 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
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