WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – A Central Florida middle school teacher was arrested Tuesday on DUI charges after deputies said he crashed while driving with a 0.263 blood alcohol level -- more than three times the legal limit in the state.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office said Dyrren Barber, 29, of Lake Wales, a teacher at Bartow Middle School, was arrested on one count of DUI with property damage.
According to an arrest affidavit, a caller reported that a man in a blue Ford pickup was driving erratically in Winter Haven, struck a Nissan and tried to flee the scene.
As the pickup left the scene at a high rate of speed, the driver, identified as Barber, appeared to lose control of the truck, which struck a telephone pole, drove through a fence and struck a water main, officials said.
Neither Barber nor the occupants of the Nissan were injured, deputies said.
Deputies said they smelled alcohol and Barber appeared to be intoxicated, deputies said. Field sobriety tests were conducted, and Barber showed several signs of impairment, officials said.
Barber was arrested and taken to jail, where he submitted breath tests that showed blood alcohol levels of 0.263 and 0.255 BAC, according to deputies.
"Thank you to the citizen who saw something and said something, resulting in us being able to respond quickly to what could have been a much worse scene. It's a miracle nobody was injured when Mr. Barber got behind the wheel drunk," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.
Deputies said Barber was arrested in 2016 on charges of possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.
Barber's status with the school is not known.