ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. – Just like the opening lyrics of the Molly Hatchet hit "Flirtin' With Disaster," 59-year-old Dave Hlubek was "traveling down the road" with his "pedal to the floor."
But Hlubek, who founded the Southern rock band and played guitar under the strobe lights of concert venues, had to face flashing lights instead Thursday. The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office charged the aging rocker, who lives in Port St. Lucie, with driving under the influence. Hlubek and his bandmates formed the group in 1975 in Jacksonville, Fla.
A rowdy night at a local arcade and a drunken drive in his Cadillac led to Hlubek's arrest, the Sheriff's Office said.
Someone at the arcade called 911 when Hlubek left the business after he argued with a woman there, according to the arrest affidavit. The caller said Hlubek was driving impaired. A deputy saw Hlubek driving his Cadillac behind him and pulled him over, he said.
Hlubek told the deputy that years of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle had hobbled him. He's more likely to pick up a walking stick nowadays instead of a six-string, according to the affidavit. Hlubek stepped out of the Cadillac with a cane, the deputy said. Hlubek said he used to leap from amplifiers during shows while playing riffs to "Gator Country." During the years, the jumps severely damaged his knees, he said.
The deputy said the guitarist, who co-wrote the Molly Hatchet song "Whiskey Man," smelled strongly of alcohol.
For the sobriety tests, Hlubek, who played guitar on his band's album, "Beating The Odds," successfully recited the alphabet. However, he failed several times to follow pointing instructions from the deputy, the affidavit states. The deputy did not ask Hlubek, who could not stand up without his cane, to perform tests that involved walking.
Hlubek, whose bandmates released a CD four months ago called "Justice," was booked into jail for driving under the influence. His blood-alcohol content results were .13 and .14, both above the state's legal limit of .08.
Hlubek, who hit the charts 30 years ago with the Molly Hatchet album, "Taking No Prisoners," posted $350 bail Thursday afternoon.
(Lamaur Stancil is a staff writer for the Press Journal in Vero Beach, Fla.)
(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.scrippsnews.com)