Lake County teacher arrested on DUI charge for the fourth time

Lake County teacher arrested on DUI charge for the fourth time

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A Lake County school teacher admitted to a trooper from the back of a patrol car that he had just been arrested for DUI for the fourth time. 

In a recording taken from the patrol car, you can hear the trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol ask 37-year-old Jason Gross, "How much have you had to drink tonight?"  Gross, a second grade teacher at Groveland Elementary School, responds, "That's not why you pulled me over."  The trooper, who had already told Gross several times that he pulled him over for making an illegal U-turn, says, "You like... like you've been drinking a lot, that's why I'm asking."  "I didn't know U-turns were still illegal," said Gross.

The trooper noted that Gross had glassy, bloodshot eyes.

"I think I've had three Tanqueray and Sprites, and two beers," Gross tells the trooper, then tries talking his way out of trouble.  "Just please help me.  I've got 2 DUIs on my record," said Gross.

FOX 35 discovered that Gross was arrested a third time for DUI in December.  The case is still going through the court system. 

When the trooper starts testing him for a fourth DUI, by asking him to walk in a straight line,  Gross can be heard making excuses.  "I'm wearing cowboy boots," he said.  The trooper tells Gross he can take his shoes off, then realizes Gross does not realize what he's wearing.  "You're not wearing cowboy boots, you're wearing dress shoes," said the trooper.

That was just one of Gross's many missteps caught on the dashboard camera.  "This is really hard to do," said Gross, as he's trying to walk heel to toe in a straight line. 

According to troopers, Gross's blood alcohol level was .15 -- almost twice the legal limit. 

"I would love to call a cab and walk home," Gross told the trooper in the midst of the field sobriety test.  Instead, the trooper placed him under arrest and gave him a ride to jail.   

According to the arrest report, Gross told the trooper he was on probation with Lake County Schools, because of his three prior DUI arrests.  The trooper noted that Gross said the school district had threatened to fire him if he got a fourth DUI. 

A spokesperson for the school district told FOX 35 that they will discuss Gross's future with him when he gets out of jail.  The spokesperson also told us that teachers can have up to 3 misdemeanor arrests at the time they are hired.



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