Correctional officer arrested on DUI charge at Polk County bar

Open beer bottle found in suspect's cup holder, deputies say

Richie Evans Jr.
Richie Evans Jr.

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A Florida correctional officer was arrested on a DUI charge when he arrived at a bar drunk on Sunday, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said they were called to a bar on Highway 17 due to a fight and as they were there investigating, Richie Evans, 27, pulled up in his SUV and parked between two patrol vehicles that had their emergency lights on.

A deputy approached Evans, who works as a corrections officer at Florida Department of Corrections Avon Park Correctional Institution, and asked why he would park between marked patrol cars and then Evans replied that he was going to the bar, the deputy could smell alcohol and saw a half-empty beer bottle in the cup holder, according to a news release.

Evans was unsteady, slurring his words and failed a field sobriety test, authorities said.

Deputies said Evans admitted to drinking at a cookout earlier in the evening and having several beers at Charlotte's Webb Pub.

"Mr. Evans was already intoxicated behind the wheel and was about to enter another bar to drink more alcohol. Our deputies did a good job recognizing he was impaired. His arrest protected drivers on the road from encountering him. As a correctional officer, Mr. Evans should have made better decisions," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Evans was arrested on a DUI charge. Deputies said he declined a breathalyzer test at the county jail.

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