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Man who drove into Lake Hollingsworth arrested for DUI; passenger hospitalized: police

By Sara Filips,


LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — A man was under the influence of alcohol when he drove his vehicle into Lake Hollingsworth early Wednesday morning, according to the Lakeland Police Department.

Police said 28-year-old Philip Peterson drove his vehicle into the lake around 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Authorities responded and found Peterson and his passenger sitting on the roof of the sinking car.

The local fire department was able to bring Peterson and the passenger back to shore.

The passenger told authorities she and Peterson got into a “disturbance” before he drove his vehicle into the water.

She was taken to Lakeland Regional Health to be treated for lacerations. Peterson said he was not injured.

Peterson told police they were coming back from a friend’s house when he got distracted and drove the car into the lake.


Police said his eyes were bloodshot and watery, his speech was slurred and he smelled of alcohol. He also failed field sobriety exercises. Breath tests showed his blood alcohol level was .173 and .169, more than two times the legal limit, police said.

Peterson is facing charges of DUI alcohol and drugs, DUI and damage to property and impairment of .15 or higher with a minor, according to police.

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