EUSTIS, Fla. - Country singer Michael Ray is accused of driving while intoxicated after his foot slipped off the pedal of his vehicle in a Eustis McDonald's drive-thru early Wednesday morning, police said.
The slip caused the Eustis native, born Michael Roach, to hit the back of the vehicle in front of him, Eustis police said.
When officers went to talk to the "Kiss You In The Morning" singer, he had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and an alcohol smell was present, police said.
Ray submitted to a field sobriety test and told officers he was coming from a bar in Tavares.
Ray was placed under arrest, and officers found a bottle inside of his left pocket, police said.
"That's weed oil," Ray told police.
Once Ray was transported to the Eustis Police Department, he was asked to take a breathalyzer test, but he refused.
Ray was charged with driving under the influence and possession of marijuana (THC hash oil) and was booked on $6,000 bond.
According to Lake County Jail records, Ray has been released.
Family friend Melissa Frazier tells News 6 Ray is a kind, caring, and giving person. She calls his arrest a "life mistake."
"I feel what happened last night was very unfortunate. We all make a bad decision in our lives," Frazier said. "He can live and learn from this experience, but I don't think he should be chastised."
His longtime neighbor, Dennis Davis, said he was shocked by the news of Ray's arrest.
"I wouldn't expect it, no. But I still think he's a fine young man, but sometimes fame and fortune goes to our head," Davis said.
Many people were also surprised to learn Ray was arrested for DUI. Some say he messed up, while others think he should be held accountable for his actions.
"He could have killed somebody, absolutely," resident Becky Bishop said.
"We make mistakes, we're all sinners. That's why we're here. Everybody gets a second chance," resident Kathy Woodward said.
Frazier said she is thankful no one was hurt and she believes Ray will learn a lesson from this.
"I'm absolutely positive that he will take this negative and turn it into a positive...maybe by making a community service announcement, talk to his fans about it at concerts," Frazier said.
Ray released a statement about his arrest Wednesday evening.
"I want to apologize to my fans, family, and my hometown community for placing myself in this situation. I am so very sorry for the disappointment these events have caused everyone. I know it will take time; however, I will do everything I can to rebuild your trust," Ray said.
Ray is set to meet fans in Eustis at the 1884 Restaurant and Bar on Friday night at 9 p.m.
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