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Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018
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Tampa firefighter suspended after DUI arrest

HOLIDAY — A Tampa Fire Rescue firefighter was suspended without pay after he was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol early Saturday in Pasco County.

Peter Benetatos, 39, will be suspended until the case is decided, said Jason Penny, public information officer with Tampa Fire Rescue.

Benetatos has been with the agency since April 2005 and earns about $53,400 a year. He was not on duty when he was arrested just after 1:15 a.m. Saturday, Penny said.

Benetatos declined to provide a breath sample after a Pasco sheriff’s deputy stopped him on U.S. 19 in Holiday, saying that he was previously convicted of DUI, a sheriff’s report said. Benetatos performed poorly on field sobriety tests, the report said.

The deputy counted eight “intoxicating beverage containers” in Benetatos’ vehicle. Most of them were empties in the backseat and one was a 12-ounce Hard Mike’s in the front cup holder, the report said.

In December 2012, Benetatos was arrested on charges of DUI and violation of a domestic violence injunction in Pasco, jail records show. He was found guilty of the DUI charge, records show.

In January 2001, Benetatos was arrested for DUI in Hillsborough County, records show.

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