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JSO: Jacksonville man faces DUI charges after crashing his car into building

According to the arrest report, the suspect told an officer if it had been safe for him to drive, the two would not have met that night.
Credit: Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office arrested a 35-year-old Jacksonville man on DUI charges after police said he crashed his car into a building while leaving a restaurant intoxicated.

According to the arrest report filed by JSO, an officer responded to a crash in which a car had hit a building at 11101 Old St. Augustine Rd. on Jan. 13 at about midnight. The officer saw heavy damage on the vehicle and to the building.

There were four businesses damaged in the crash: Hop Shing, King Nails, Great Clips and Little Caesars.

In the arrest report, the witness told the officer he was inside Shores Pub when he heard a loud crash. He told the officer he took the keys from the driver, identified in the report as 35-year-old Besnik Bala, and told Bala to get out of the car.

According to the arrest report, Bala told the officer in his interview he tried to put the car in drive but put it in reverse instead before hitting the building. Bala said he was not injured. 

The officer said in the report Bala "had bloodshot and watery eyes, droopy eyelids, flushed face, slurred speech, he was unsteady on his feet and the odor of an alcoholic beverage was coming from his breath."

At this point, the officer told Bala he was under investigation for DUI and was read his Miranda Rights.

According to the report, Bala told his story again as a part of the DUI investigation and restated he was not injured. He also told the officer he did not have diabetes, epilepsy, no recent head trauma, was not being seen by a doctor or a dentist and was not on medication.

The report states Bala said to the officer he did not have issues with walking, balancing or talking. Then, Bala told the officer he had consumed between four and five beers and two shots of whiskey between 10 p.m. and the time JSO arrived at the scene. Bala said he was on his way home before hitting the building.

The report states Bala submitted to a field sobriety examination and showed "multiple clues of impairment."

According to the report, Bala told the officer if he was safe to drive, they would have not met that night. 

He was placed under arrest without incident on five counts of DUI, including four counts of DUI causing property damage or personal injury. He faces a sixth charge of careless driving.

Credit: Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

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